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Margaret | 2011 | R | - 8.6.7

A young woman (Anna Paquin) witnesses a bus accident and the death of a woman struck by the bus. The days following the accident prove to be trying as she wrestles with lying to the authorities, her mother's new boyfriend, her father's cancellation of a vacation and befriending the dead woman's best friend. Also with J. Smith-Cameron, Mark Ruffalo, Jeannie Berlin, Jean Reno, Sarah Steele, John Gallagher Jr., Cyrus Hernstadt, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin and Matt Damon. Directed by Kenneth Lonergan. [2:30]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A young woman calls a young man and invites him to "take away my virginity": the young man accepts, we see them nude in silhouette (we see the outline of her bare buttock and breast and his bare chest) on a bed, they kiss, she manually stimulates him (we see her arm moving rhythmically), he kisses her breasts, he moves toward her abdomen, she stops him, she performs oral sex on him, he stops her and moves on top of her and he thrusts; she grimaces, she asks him to put on a condom, he does not and he ejaculates.
 A young woman and her male teacher meet at his apartment and talk while sitting on a sofa; the young woman touches the man's hand, moves close to him and they kiss, she unfastens his pants and moves her head toward his lap and it is implied that she performs oral sex on him and that they have sex.
 A woman masturbates in bed alone: we see her rubbing between her legs rhythmically (she is clothed in a nightgown and her bare shoulders are visible) and hear her moaning until she is interrupted by someone entering the room.
 A nude woman stands in a bathroom, a man in another room calls to her, we see her bare breasts as she leaves to join him (sex is implied). A young woman dresses and we see her wearing a lace bra and then putting on an off the shoulder top. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. Young women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders in many scenes throughout the movie. A young woman wears a very short skirt that reveals her bare upper thighs. We see lingerie on mannequins in a store window. A young man is shown wearing boxer shorts and is bare-chested. Women are shown wearing evening gowns that reveal cleavage, bare backs and shoulders. A young woman showers and we see her bare shoulders.
 A young man and a young woman kiss after discussing that he has a girlfriend. A young woman and a young man kiss passionately.
 A man asks a woman on a date; she accepts and we see them sharing dinner. A young man asks a young woman to the movies and they have a conversation about dating. A male teacher and a younger female student have coffee and talk. A male teacher and a younger female student talk in a classroom while other students wait for them to finish so they can come in. A young woman asks two teachers, "Did you know I had an abortion?" and goes on to say that she isn't sure who the father was. Several high school students talk about a teacher and say, "Everybody loves him, he is very lovable."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A woman walking across a street is struck by a bus: we hear a thud, we see the driver slam on the brakes, we see a bloody and dismembered leg on the street under the bus and the rest of the woman covered with blood behind the bus; a young woman holds the injured woman who is conscious and moaning, two men attempt to tie her leg with a tourniquet (one man is sprayed with blood) and she screams, complaining that she can't see and dies.
 A young woman has a nightmare that she turns a water faucet on and blood pours out of it and imagines a dead woman standing behind her. After holding a dying woman, a young woman is covered with the woman's blood; we see her washing herself and blood is splattered on the shower and rinses down the drain.
 After a man and a woman argue, she throws a drink in his face. A woman yells at her daughter and throws dishes off a table.
 We hear that a woman's daughter died of cancer. People talk about their memories of a woman at gathering after she dies. We hear that a man has a heart attack and then see people gathered at his funeral. Young men and young women argue about politics and governments in a classroom and there are references to people throwing acid in women's faces, theocratic societies, the Iraq war, and Palestinians. A woman and her daughter argue bitterly in a few scenes. A man and a woman argue. A man and a young woman argue. A young woman argues with a police officer. A young woman argues with a man over the telephone. A man talks about the violent situation in Colombia. A woman talks about another woman throwing up.
 A young woman vomits (we see her rush to the toilet and she lurches, but no vomit is shown and we do not hear gagging). A young woman spits out her gum (we see the gum).
 A young woman acts upset when several young men block her path on a crowded city sidewalk; they eventually allow her to pass.


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LANGUAGE 7 - About 24 F-words, 14 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (sick monster, stupid, insane, dumb, naïve, retarded), exclamations (shut up), 1 religious profanity, 21 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A young woman smokes marijuana, a young man and a young woman snort cocaine, and two young women are shown smoking marijuana in a park and a teacher walks past and reprimands them. People are shown drinking alcohol at a restaurant, a young man and a young woman drink beer, a woman remarks that she "has had too much," a woman drinks wine, and a man and a woman drink wine with dinner at a restaurant. A woman smokes cigarettes in a few scenes, a young woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes (she is shown alone, with her mother and among other adult people), a young man smokes a cigarette and tells a young woman, "I smoked in your elevator," and several young people smoke outside a high school building.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Accidental death, death of a loved one, union negotiations, divorce, greed, oppression of women, family, grief, negligent retention, punitive damages, theocratic societies, maturity, teen pregnancy, abortion, idealism, harassment, morality, generalizing, taking responsibility, the legal system.

MESSAGE - Doing the right thing can be difficult, but it is necessary.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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