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Review: Margaret

Unexpected situations
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 4, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

Kenneth Lonergan offers no resolutions in this complex and moving parable, unless it's the observation that the only resolutions in life are in art. Or maybe in geometry, which is not the best subject for Lisa (Anna Paquin). She's a privileged, smart Manhattan teenager attending a tony private school where she cheats on her math test. Told his subject is irrelevant, her teacher (Matt Damon) suggests that people never know what they might need in an unexpected situation. Such as when Lisa finds herself holding the hand of a woman hit by a bus and is driven to seek justice, even if it means implicating herself in a crime. Her crusade proceeds, like the movie, with indirection, detoured by fumbling sex and her relationship with her actress mother, whose career Lisa holds in contempt. In fact, most of the characters despise theatre, film, opera, and literature. Maybe that's because, in the end, they're all we've got.

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