Sometimes it’s all right to head over to Burger King for their Big Fish Filet with cheese, and some fries. I am rarely disappointed in those moments because it was what I craved, and it’s really hard to screw up in the kitchen. However, it really can’t match that fantastic seafood restaurant where the fresh catch of the day is expertly prepared with just the right sauce and the perfect wine, where dinner is all it could possibly be. Maybe more.
Here are two films representative of this opening paragraph.
|Tommy LeeJones and Ashley Judd in Double Jeopardy|
Margaret — Now, for something completely different. This was a film that nearly didn't get made, was edited, and re-edited, rewritten and came in originally at five hours. Then, for all practical purposes, went nowhere. The version I saw was the Netflix DVD, which was two and a half hours of genius. I suspect you haven’t seen it because it has had limited showings, and despite its powerful cast you might know nothing about it.
|Matt Damon and Anna Pacquin in Margaret|
I want to see more by cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski. It is possible for New York settings to end up as a cliché. Not here. Fresh, busy, elegant and sometimes scary. The film was released in 2011 and was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan. Anna Pacquin played Lisa. She was superb as was the rest of the cast: J. Smith-Cameron, Jean Reno, Jeannie Berlin, and Allison Janney. Matthew Broderick, Kieran Culkin, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Damon provided brief but essential support.
Though Margaret is only marginally a “crime” film, crimes have been committed. However both films are rare in the sense that as crime films they are not dominated by male characters.
To accompany the films, why not some beer and a pizza for the first? Or chopped liver. Perhaps some wine with the second. But go slow. Margaret will have you rethinking what’s right and wrong or at least questioning the moral compromises you’ve made.