I’m not sure if there is a track record for how long a film has sat on the shelf before finally being released into theaters, but “Margaret” has got to be pretty high on whatever list that might be. The film is writer/director Kenneth Lonergan’s sophomore effort about a young woman who witnesses a bus accident and gets caught up in the blame-game whirlwind that follows. The film was shot in 2005 and has been withheld from cinemas for the last six years. Reasons include difficulty finding distribution as well as the director’s inability to leave the editing suite.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this film’s unheard of stint on the cutting room floor is the impressive cast. It’s hard to imagine a film carrying performances by an newly minted Oscar nominee (Mark Ruffalo), two of television’s biggest stars (Anna Paquin and Allison Janney) and one of Hollywood’s top-grossing actors (Matt Damon) could have trouble finding distribution today. However, it was a different time, half of a decade ago. Neither “The Departed,” nor “True Blood” had debuted to the public and Mark Ruffalo wasn’t known for much more than Lonergan’s previous film, “You Can Count On Me.”
It’s really hard to believe that after 6 years of anticipation, we’re finally going to get a chance to see this film. The burden, however, is that those five years equate to quite a bit of anticipation, not to mention the fact that it has now been eleven years since Lonergan’s first film titled him one of Hollywood’s most aspiring young filmmakers. It will certainly have a lot to live up to.
Check out the trailer, below. Note, particularly, how Matt Damon looks like he’s about twelve years-old compared to his current appearance: