After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
For those who haven't yet come to terms with Arrested Development's cancellation, you may take some small comfort from this: comedian David Cross will be joining the cast of Running Wilde, a new fall sitcom from Fox, starring fellow Arrested alum Will Arnett, and created and written by Arrested's Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely. Cross will appear in 7 of the 13 episodes planned for the show's first season, set to premiere this fall. Word is the comedian will replace Andrew Daly, who played Keri Russell's environmentalist partner in the pilot episode.
Here's the official synopsis: "The new romantic comedy from “Arrested Development’s” Jim Vallely, Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett. Starring Arnett (“30 Rock”) and Keri Russell (“Waitress,” “Felicity”), the comedy centers on a lovable, but immature playboy (Arnett) trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart (Russell), the über-liberal humanitarian who got away."
This won't be the first time Cross and Arnett have worked together since the end of Arrested Development in 2006: the two recently starred in the UK Comedy pilot The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, which IFC plans to air some time this fall in its six-episode entirety. Between that and Running Wilde, Arrested Development fans should be content until we hear more about the (hopefully) upcoming movie version.