Another feat for Lonergan—magnificent characterizations, supreme acting, accomplished writing—literate and metropolitan
Supposed to come out in 2007 but lawsuits and studio/auteur battles over the length of the film
No character in the film with the title name—refers to Gerald Manley Hopkins poem read during the film by Paquin in a classroom scene
Starts with some beautiful grandiose slow-motion shots of New Yorkers on the street
It’s a family drama, a character study (these are real people, flawed, inconsistent but in a good way- depth), but it also acts as group grieving and post 9-11 trauma
Paquin is a tour-de-force here- volcanic one minute, selfish the next, —she’s also very well cast as a New Yorker after 25th Hour and The Squid and the Whale
Shouting matches—jousts—very East coast and angry
Formally it starts out so ambitiously—we have the slow-motion interludes and the establishing shots of New York but these drop off… we bounce off the family drama to heated classroom debates about politics—people cutting each other off—Lonergan uses duration as part of the discomfort. If he had more of these formal markers and pointed uses of duration I could see why he needed to fight for this film to be longer
Her unprotected sex and possible pregnancy adds to the milieu—so messy—she wants to get rid of her guilt
A true coming of age—the system is flawed—a look at why we’re all a little edgy and jaded.
A great line—“this is not an opera”- but it is—it is to Lisa (Paquin) and all of us.
The ending is magnificent. The crying at the MET—art as catharsis