Teenager Lisa (Anna Paquin) comes to a startling realization when she witnesses a woman get hit by a bus and holds that woman in her arms until she dies. Young Lisa, of course, will eventually die, too, and it’s too much for this privileged New Yorker to bear, especially since she believes she might have caused the accident by distracting the bus driver (Mark Ruffalo). There’s a lot happening here, and writer/director Kenneth Longergan balances it all nicely. Margaret had a rough time getting into theaters. After lawsuits, a studio that insisted a limit on the film’s length, and editing help from Martin Scorsese, it eventually was released, and now, it arrives on home video in the theatrical version and an extended cut, which, presumably, is closer to Lonergan’s original intentions. It will be fascinating to compare the two. Available on DVD/Blu-ray Combo.
Father Jonathan (Robert De Niro) and son Nick (Paul Dano) compete for each other’s attention and that of the audience in Being Flynn. We have dueling narrators, which is a clever narrative device, especially since they are both of the unreliable variety. Jonathan considers himself to be company with the greatest American authors; Nick refuses to fully acknowledge how much his family history has affected him. The movie is honest and well-meaning with solid performances from the two leads, but it’s also messy with its shifting focus. In the competition for our attention, Jonathan wins out every time. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
The success of American Reunion depends entirely on one’s affection for these characters. We might like them–or at least what we saw in the first two movies–but this is pushing it. As it turns out, the majority of them were pretty boring. The few characters with distinct personalities (Eddie Kaye Thomas’ Finch and Seann William Scott’s Stifler, to name a pair) don’t have much to do, either. The ending implies there will be more of these, to which the only proper response is, “No, thank you.” My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.