Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Kenneth Lonergan, Gavin Smith and J. Smith-Cameron. Photos by Arianna Cross.
It's been a long journey for Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, which finally made its way to theaters (briefly) last year despite originally being slated for release in 2007. The Film Comment Selects screening of the film a few weeks ago marked its first venture uptown, bringing Lonergan and members of the cast and crew with it. Moderated by Film Comment editor Gavin Smith, the ensemble, including actors J. Smith-Cameron, Jean Reno and Matthew Broderick, sat down for a candid Q&A following the show.
Lonergan opened the conversation by personally thanking Slant Magazine critic Jaime Christley for starting the Twitter campaign to bring Margaret to more theaters, and then jumped into an insightful discourse on the inspiration for the story and characters. Drawing upon his time with high school classmate Matthew Broderick at the Walden School in New York City (a now defunct private school), Lonergan said the plot of the film is based on a similar story he was told by a girl in 11th grade.
“The idea of something that big to happening to someone that young has always stayed with me,” said Lonergan. “I was hoping to portray that age at which you suddenly become aware of the world and all the horrible things in it in a period that hasn’t worn you down yet.”
Deciding to focus the discussion on the performances and interpretations from the film instead of the circuitous route to a final, theatrical cut, the video below gives a great firsthand look into what was, in some critics’ estimation, one of the best films of the year. For more information on Margaret, including its upcoming extended run at the Film Society starting March 23, click here.