Kenneth Lonergan’s Academy Award-nominated 2000 movie You Can Count on Me is easily one of the best dramas ever written/acted, regardless of what Kelly says. (She hates it and to this day I do not understand why. It’s great!) It’s so good! Have you seen it? You’ve seen it. And you should see it again. That’s how good it is. So everyone was very excited about his second movie, Margaret, which he filmed in 2005 with Ana Paquin and Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo. But then the movie never ever came out and there were all these rumors of lawsuits and 3-hour director’s cuts and stuff. Then eventually the movie kind of was released, but practically as a secret joke, in two movie theaters last year and no one saw it. (My friend Rich saw it on an airplane somehow? So I guess that was where the real fans saw it.) The movie is finally coming out on DVD in July with two different edits of the final product including the highly contentious 3-hour director’s cut. It’s exciting! I am excited! But so there is an article in this coming Sunday’s New York Times magazine that you can read on-line right now that details the whole struggle over the movie, all the lawsuits and stuff, and talks a little bit about Kenneth Longergan’s new play, Medieval Play, which is about the catholic church in the 1300s (?!!?!), and his early work writing Analyze This, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s borrowed from Matthew Broderick. It also talks about the constant conflict between art and commerce, and the lasting effects of a rancorous, drawn-out, litigious disaster like this on a would-be “auteur” director, and it also talks about how good Margaret is. Just read it! You want me to blockquote it? Why? Read the whole thing. Bye!

Comments (18)
  1. These are the things I know Kelly hates:

    1. You Can Count On Me
    2. Fionna Apple
    3. Additional sand

  2. Aww, man. Of all the days for me to leave my tweed-jacket and glass of port at home.

  3. Rich sounds like he’s lying. His name’s probably not even Rich, either.

    • Yeah I think more likely Rich dreamed he saw it on a plane. Or he got on a plane with “Judy Zipper” who knocked him out and incepted the idea that he saw the movie in order to get the password to open Gabe’s safe.

  4. How can Kelly hate You Can Count on Me? I’m impervious to Ruffalo’s charms though so he could spit in a turd bowl and I’d be singing his praises.

  5. how nice of you to deign to us and link an article in front of a pay wall. I Can Count On You.

  6. I saw ‘Margaret’ in New York, and I don’t even live in New York, but I spent two and half hours of my time there watching ‘Margaret’. So in that context it is an OK movie for sure, but definitely not worth spending two and a half hours on.

    I’m sure it’s as good as/not quite as good as/slightly better than ‘You Can Count On Me’, which I can’t remember particularly, but I guess I feel that the guy is working in entirely the wrong medium and should write a novel or something?

    There are good performances in these films, and it’s sad that it’s hard to get a film this straightforward and basically fine released — it’s better than, say, most Sundance-type films — but framing it as art vs commerce makes ‘Margaret’ sound like something challenging and new, which it is not.

    • Working in the wrong medium and should write a novel? Yeah I don’t see any evidence that he in any way needs to do that. By the way, I think Lonnergan’s thing is that he makes movies that are somewhat deep, well written, and well-acted. His films have not had pretensions toward being challenging and new, as if they were avant-garde.

  7. I for one am shocked, SHOCKED to read that the brother of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert behaved like a vindictive, childish idiot when he didn’t get what he wanted.

  8. I haven’t seen You Can Count On Me.

  9. I guess if I had to be indebted to anyone Matthew Broderick seems like he wouldn’t be crappy about it.

  10. It seems you can certainly ‘count on’ him if you’re his friend. (He was in a film called ‘You Can Count On Me’, and it was directed by his friend, who he then helped out.)

  11. Not to suck up but truthfully I hated “You Can Count On Me”. My dislike for Mark Ruffalo started then and has wained a little since “Zodiac”. Probably the main reason was that everyone at the time told me how great it was. It wasn’t horrible but my expectations were high. I would be weary of “Margaret” mainly because of Paquin.

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