The day has come! Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret,” the most-talked-about least-talked-about film of 2011, will finally be seen in its epic-length director’s cut when it is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 10th.
It was a long time coming. One has no doubt read about the film’s long struggles in the editing room, which led to legal disputes and media scrutiny. The film was meant to be a follow-up to Lonergan’s indie success “You Can Count On Me,” but editing “Margaret” down from its two-hundred page shooting script, delayed the release by a full five years. Believe it or not, the resulting two-and-a-half-hour cut feels cut down from something much, much longer. Finally, we’ll be able to unravel the mysteries of “Margaret” with Lonergan’s 186-minute director’s cut.
Fox Searchlight had originally dumped the film into a few theatres last September with no publicity. Next to no one came out for it, despite an all-star cast and terrific reviews. Afterwards, when the time came for year-end polls, film critics came together with a petition to get more screenings in New York. The resulting Twitter discussions (under the hashtag #teammargaret) led to high demand for the film, but only a slightly wider release.
One can’t help but wonder what we’re going to get in those extra thirty-six minutes… Perhaps a little more Matt Damon? A few more ferocious sneers from Jeannie Berlin? Another opera sequence? Hopefully we’ll find out why Martin Scorcese (who was called in to edit the film down for its theatrical release) called this version a masterpiece.