Blu-ray, DVD Release: Margaret

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $39.99
Studio: Fox

Margaret movie scene

Anna Paquin stars in Margaret.

The 2011 drama Margaret is the long-gestating second film by acclaimed playwright Kenneth Lonergan, best known by moviegoers for his debut feature, the 2000 Academy Award-nominated You Can Count on Me.

Margaret centers on the titular 17-year-old New York City high-school student (Anna Paquin, TV’s True Blood) who feels certain that she inadvertently played a role in a traffic accident that has claimed a woman’s life. In her attempts to set things right she meets with opposition at every step. Torn apart with frustration, she begins emotionally brutalizing her family, her friends, her teachers, and most of all, herself. In time, she realizes the blunt truth that her youthful ideals are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.

Written and directed by Lonergan, the film also stars Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right), Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo), Olivia Thirlby (No Strings Attached) and Matthew Broderick (Tower Heist).

Ironically, Margaret received its most significant press before its limited theatrical release in September, 2011.

Reportedly, the film’s lengthy post-production work—overseen, of course, by Lonergan—sparked multiple lawsuits between Lonergan, financier Gary Gilbert and distributor Fox Searchlight. The post-production problems and subsequent legal actions allegedly went on for some three years.

When the film finally opened in some dozen theaters, it received a wide-ranging mix of reviews, some loving the film and some abhorring it.  (Roger Ebert called it “one of the best films of the year,” while David Edelstein of New York Magazine said, “This is the first bad movie that has ever made me call for a sequel — to get it all right.”) It ultimately received a acceptable 6.8/10 on the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ Tomatometer.

The two-disc Blu-ray set includes the R-rated theatrical version–which clocks in at two-and-a-half hours–as well as a bonus DVD featuring the an extended cut of the film, which has a running time of three-hours-and-five minutes. The latter version is the one that Lonergan most wanted audiences to see.

There are no other bonus features included on the discs.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.