Starring: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Alison Janney, Keiran Culkin, Olivia Thirlby
Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan
Synopsis: A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people’s lives.
I’ll set the scene. It’s Tuesday night, I’ve had a hell of a day at work. I crack open a couple of beers and cook a nice dinner for the wife and I. Our two year old son is fast asleep in bed. My wife intimates that I might even be ‘in luck’ tonight. Wow, she hasn’t said that for a while, I think to myself (not out loud of course)!! With that promise for later, we settle down to watch a good movie. A movie that has in some quarters even garnered 5 star reviews. The film is called Margaret and the synopsis sounds fairly promising, if not perfect for a ‘date’ night.
It starts off interesting enough, a horrific bus accident is extremely well handled. We get an hour or so in to it, and I think, hmmm, this isn’t progressing much seeing as it is going to end in 30-40 minutes. But I go with it. Then we reach the two hour mark and it’s losing me. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for this story to take two hours to tell. And I dislike all of the characters. They are variously petulant, self -absorbed, over dramatic, immature and spiteful. In fact, I actually prefer the under-fire bus driver than any of the others. And he killed someone!!
I look at my watch, it’s now 10pm. My wife and I have a small child, we don’t do late nights much anymore. But still we plod through this film with its unlikeable characters, because it’s rude not to see a film through to the end. I look over to my wife and she is fading fast. I start to sweat, wondering if the film will ever end. It does, not entirely satisfactorily, after nearly three hours. We look at each other, yawn, and wonder why a film about a bus accident and an attention seeking teenager played by a 30 year old, took so long to tell it’s slim story.
With that, we head up to bed. Oh well, I think, at least I’m ‘on a promise’. We creep into bed where my wife promptly rolls over, eyes closed. “But, I thought…” I start to plead. “I’m really tired, I didn’t realise we would be getting to bed so late” my wife says.
Night ruined, I roll over and close my eyes. And I dream of Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Keiran Culkin, Jean Reno, Olivia Thirlby and Matthew Broderick all being hit by a bus.