Ta-daaa! Eleven years after You Can Count On Me and six years — six! — after it was initially filmed, we finally get our first look at Margaret, writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s star-studded New York story about a teenage girl (Anna Paquin) who is suffocating with guilt over a fatal bus accident she suspects she may have caused. The clip is jarring, from the moment she asks an apathetic classmate (Kieran Culkin) to deflower her, to the sudden tragedy that changes her life. YCCOM vets Mark Ruffalo (the bus-driver) and Matthew Broderick (a high-school teacher) appear, and Matt Damon, who plays a concerned teacher, looks practically… six years younger than he does today. Take a quick look at the long-in-the-works Margaret — pronounced Mar-ger-ETTE, courtesy of poet Gerald Manley Hopkins:
So much of what has been written about the film touches upon its rumored intention to explore the post-9/11 mood in New York City, but there’s very little evidence of that in the trailer. Maybe that’s a good thing — for the trailer at least. But the clip does conjure up two other movies with similar themes and common actors: Ruffalo starred in Reservation Road, playing a dad who accidentally kills a young boy on the ride home from the city one night. And watching Paquin share a kiss with her teacher had echoes of The 25th Hour, in which she flirted with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Does the trailer revitalize your interest in this seemingly-forgotten movie? (Though it arrives in theaters Sept. 30, it’s not playing at any of the prestigious pre-Oscar season festivals.) Is it odd to see Paquin and Damon looking so noticeably younger?