Margaret 2011 ★★★★★

You may have heard of this little cult gem by now-or not. But it's been causing a stir among film fans who have been petitioning for their right to see it. Apparently the original cut came in very long-like 3 hours or something so the director was told to cut it down-which he refused to do. So , it remained in legal limbo for over 5 years! Anna Paquin did it BEFORE True Blood even aired. Anyway, I had a chance to see it at a local command run at our little public supported art-house. There was a review in our weekly paper calling it the "best film of the year you probably will never see..."
Anyway-was it worth that hype? A gotta say YES. Paquin is marvelous as a nervy mess of a college freshman who witnesses a bus accident where a woman is hit crossing the street. Our heroine is needless to say rattled and shocked to think she might have inadvertently been somewhat to blame. This whole sequence is directed with finesse and everyone, down to the one-liner extras in the crowd that gathers play their roles without a false note. From this point forward Paquin is changed and goes through stages toward examining her culpability and coming to terms with how to go forward . I was with the actress all the way through her journey of discovery. Her quest never wavers to find out the truth in her emotions. Although she is at one point even accused, (by the dead woman's best friend who becomes an ally), of being a "grief whore". And using the event as a means to get attention! A quite devastating scene in it's honesty.
You just don't find complexity like this in most American dramas. I do believe it's a crime that Paquin wasn't nominated for her work here. She did win awards at film festivals though. She is simply heart wrenching.
If only they would release this now to the market! I would snap up a copy like that! But I fear it's still entangled in legal red-tape.

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