In 2005, a movie called Margaret was filmed, but it wasn’t until six years later that it was finally released to limited theaters. Kenneth Lonergan, the film’s director, fought tooth-and-nail for years to release his three-hour cut of the film –unfortunately, that never happened. However, due to overwhelming support over the Internet, the studio finally released the extended cut on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack (exclusively available on amazon.com).

Maragaret is the story of a teenaged girl named Lisa, played by Anna Paquin. Lisa lives a rather normal life, residing in New York City with her actress mother and younger brother. Her life takes a turn for the tragic, however, when she goes on what starts out as an innocent search for a cowboy hat to wear horseback riding with her father.

Lisa spots a bus driver (Mark Ruffalo) wearing what she deems to be the perfect hat, and when she tries to get his attention to find out where he bought it, a horrible accident occurs. In his attempts to communicate with Lisa, he failed to notice that the light at an intersection had turned red, and a woman had begun to walk across the street. He sees the pedestrian at the last moment, but he cannot stop, and sadly, the bus runs the woman over. Lisa witnesses the entire thing. Horrified and in shock, she runs to help the woman. It seems, however, that the bus has injured her beyond repair. The woman’s leg is still under the bus, and her head seems to be bleeding profusely. Lisa, trying to help, holds the woman until she finally passes away in her arms.

Several minutes later, police arrive and begin taking statements. Lisa, having seen the driver run the red light, decides to lie to the police. She tells them that the pedestrian woman walked against the light, and that the bus driver was not at fault in the situation. Shocked and alone, Lisa walks home, contemplating what has just happened.

The rest of the film shows the ripple effects that these truly horrific moments can have on our everyday lives. Lisa begins to unravel and lose control as she struggles to deal with what she has done. Soon, her attitude and new mentality begin to affect everyone around her.

Margaret is a beautiful film. It not only skillfully tells Lisa’s story, but it also shows what it’s like to be around someone who is going through what she is going through. Sure, Lisa is the main character, but by no means is the entire focus of the film on her. That’s what makes this film so unique: it focuses on everyone in Lisa’s life and shows what they are going through as well.

Not only that, but the acting in Margaret is phenomenal –there’s no other way to describe it. Director Kenneth Lonergan says that Anna Paquin’s performance is the best performance he has ever seen in any film. While that may be a little bit exaggerated, he’s not far off. Paquin is remarkable in Margaret, and it is most certainly one of the best performances in cinematic history. It’s a shame that Margaret didn’t receive more attention, because Paquin deserved an Oscar nomination. (Of course, many people know that she already has one Oscar under her belt, but she was only a child when she received it.)

The supporting cast in Margaret is not to be missed either. With actors like Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick, it’s not even a question that you should see the film.

Margaret is a truly beautiful movie, and that’s not something that you see these days. It’s overflowing with emotion, and you feel every second of it when you watch the film. One can only hope that it will garner more attention, because Margaret deserves much more than the reception it received.

Grade: A+

Margaret is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.