The thing about "Margaret" is, the more you know our heroine Lisa Cohen (NOT Margaret!), the less you like her. At the beginning of this chaotic film, Lisa wants to buy a Stetson in anticipation of her trip to Arizona with her father and his new wife. She wants to "fit in." ( ! )

After fruitless attempts in NYC stores, she spots a bus driver wearing one. He has already closed the doors and is moving with traffic, so she runs alongside, trying to find out where he got it. He is distracted, runs a red light and kills a pedestrian. She feels partially responsible, so she lies to the police officer and says the light was green...until Spoiler Alert! she changes her mind and her police report.

Everyone is caught up in this tangle of lies:
  • Anna Paquin ("True Blood") is our flawed heroine, immature, self- centered and angry.
  • Mark Ruffalo ("Date Night") is the bus driver.
  • Allison Janney (The Help") is the doomed pedestrian.
  • Jeannie Berlin (primarily a stage actress) does much of the heavy lifting for the cast. She is the long-time friend of the deceased and her observations are insightful and cutting.
  • J. Smith-Cameron ("Man on a Ledge") is Lisa's mother, an actress and single mom who is at her wits' end with her conten- tious daughter.
  • Jean Reno ("Couples Retreat") is a fan who falls for Lisa's actress mother.
  • Matt Damon ("Contagion") is her geometry teacher. her interaction with him was the final straw for me.
All of the verbal skirmishes were written with the same voice, no matter who was speaking. Lisa certainly personified an exasperating teenager, but Mom sounded Dad, who sounded like the teacher, who sounded like the bus driver, who sounded like the victim's best friend. These verbal gymnastics became circuitous. In addition, I never got a clue why this movie is called "Margaret," was it that poem?

My dislike for our eponymous teenager outweighed any loyalty or sympathy I might have had, and I didn't believe in her redemption at the end for one minute. And you know me: I want someone to root for. No such luck here....
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Here is a link to a trailer:
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