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Essman, E. (2017). Margaret written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan Sony Pictures Classics: 2005/2011, 150/186 min. Fort Da, 23(2):95-101.

(2017). Fort Da, 23(2):95-101

Margaret written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan Sony Pictures Classics: 2005/2011, 150/186 min

Eric Essman, M.A.

“Margaret” x Margaret

The two “Margarets” in the title refer, respectively, to a Gerard Manley Hopkins's sonnet written in 1880 and published posthumously in 1918, and to director-screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan's 2005 film. The latter could be described as posthumous as well, as its relatively unheralded late release (in 2011) to too few screening venues, post-dated the film's production by well over five years. In another sense, the “Margarets” refer to the two film versions currently available on disc: the 150-minute theatrical version and a more immersive, 186-minute extended version. The latter, somewhat like process notes in relation to a published case, not only includes scenes that illustrate character development and resolve provocative ambiguities in the theatrical release but also disjointed sequences that disrupt narrative continuity.

Hopkins's sonnet, “Spring and Fall: To a Young Child,” is often referenced by its first line:

Margaret, are you grieving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?

Leaves, like the things of man, you

With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Ah! as the heart grows older

It will come to such sights colder

By and by, nor spare a sigh

Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;

And yet you will weep and know why.

Now no matter child, the name:

Sorrow's springs are the same.

Nor

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