Are you with God? I’m Margaret is an iconic novel published in 1970 written by the brilliant Judy Blume, and made into a movie this year by the great Kelly Pheromon Craig. The book is a coming-of-age story about a young girl trying to figure out how to cope and navigate a prepubescent world after her family moves from New York City to suburban New York. jersey.
These themes are not unfamiliar to Craig, who also directed the brilliant edge seventeen in 2016, which was also a coming-of-age story set in the modern era, starring Hailee Steinfeld, navigating high school, friendships, and boys. Are you with God? I’m Margaret It currently has 99% approval from critics and 95% approval from audiences, which means everyone who watched it loved it. It’s not easy for a movie to please both critics and audiences alike, but this movie manages to do just that. These are the 10 reasons this movie should resonate with everyone, no matter who you are.
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There is nothing scarier than staying in school and moving to a new city. Unfortunately, Margaret has to learn this truth when her father, played by the great Benny Safdie, gets a new job in New Jersey. Originally living in the hustle and bustle of New York City, Margaret’s family now has to figure out how to navigate the quiet suburban life. Fortunately, Margaret meets exuberant neighbor Nancy, brilliantly played by Elle Graham, who invites Margaret to her home to run through the sprinklers on a hot summer’s day.
Margaret soon learns the different personality we all take on being cool with other cool people, especially at 11 years old. Plus, Margaret’s mom, played by the sexy Rachel McAdams, tries to fit in with the other moms. neighborhood, navigating the struggles of a stay at home mom for the first time. A former painter, Barbara tries to get too involved in the PTA and ends up on every panel, planning every event and inevitably ending, making it clear that no matter age, we all just want to belong somewhere.
This is a female lead movie. The vast majority of the cast is played by women of all ages. The film is made up of three generations of women, with Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret, Rachel McAdams as her mother Barbara, and the wonderful Kathy Bates as her grandmother. Each of these strong women goes through their own trials and tribulations, and each of them is stronger than that. Kelly Fermon Craig does a great job of using both Sylvia and Barbara as conduits for the topics she is examining in this movie.
One of the topics Craig studies is female puberty, specifically when a girl’s menstrual cycle begins. This movie isn’t shy about having that conversation, which might make some uncomfortable, but that’s the point. Craig normalizes the female reproductive system and how it works, which is especially important in today’s world where reproductive rights are under threat every day.
A very funny movie with incredible comedic timing. Kathy Bates, as Sylvia, is at her best as Margaret’s wise and brutally honest Jewish grandmother. She always says what’s on her mind, bringing narrative tension and a wonderful sense of humor. Her son and Margaret’s father, Herb, played by Benny Safdie in an absolutely terrifying role, brings plenty of goofiness to the movie with his impossibly kind and understanding kindness as well as his father’s constant jokes.
Like a lot of performers, McAdams is charmingly awkward and endearingly distracted and is a mature person for comedy. When she joins each PTA committee, she quickly becomes overwhelmed but continues to say yes to everything in an effort to impress all the other moms in town.
While at the same time, Margaret is dealing with a real crush and noticing boys for the first time in her life at the age of eleven, which at that age is the most intense feeling anyone has ever experienced. Craig also enjoys the crazy stories we hear as kids about how to speed up puberty or how to kiss by making Margaret and her friends exclaim “We gotta get a bust up!” while pushing their arms to increase their chest sizes. This moment, of course, comes from the novel, but Craig imagines it in a way that is played for comedy but not satirised.
Cinematographer Tim Ives, mostly known for being the lead cinematographer for HBO’s Girls and Stranger Things, shot and beautifully shot this movie. Shot mostly by hand, the photo shows the chaotic nature of growing up and an intense fear of the unknown. It also reflects Barbara being overwhelmed by all the tasks she takes on at the PTA, as well as her complex relationship with her parents and dealing with the constant mood swings of a young girl going through puberty.
The camera shake also gives the audience a sense of unease and tension throughout the film, representing the constant fear of being an 11-year-old navigating an unfamiliar world, both internal and external.
Although this movie deals with a subject matter that can feel more adult, it can also be suitable for the whole family. Families should watch this movie with their children because, just like a Judy Blume novel, it finds a way to discuss this topic without being too graphic and sensitive about it. There is a scene in which Margaret and her friend Jenny (Amarie Alexis Price) go to buy tampons at the local drug store and in an attempt to hide their embarrassment Margaret also buys a box of mints.
This is a very funny way to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of buying tampons for the first time as young women but it is done with precision. A mid-budget comedy that has writing and cinematography that is very sympathetic to all of its characters despite their flaws and lets the audience know exactly what everyone’s motivations are.
About the struggles of puberty
The weirdest time in everyone’s life when we’re all so thankful we’re not in the middle of it anymore. Everything changes, and dramatically. Not only does it change your body and your fight in every possible way, but you also become emotionally aware for the first time. Experiencing new feelings and not having a language for the emotions you feel can be very frustrating and make people want to criticize those around you. Moreover, one becomes more aware not only of one’s own feelings, but also of others.
This is when a person begins to develop empathy and compassion for others, and it shows beautifully when Margaret asks Barbara why she never met her mother’s parents. Margaret tells her that her parents are very Christian and did not approve of their daughter marrying a Jewish man, so they cut her life out completely. Fortson plays this incredibly empathetic moment brilliantly, as she suddenly sees her mother as a person for the first time as McAdams tearfully delivers this story.
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Although it’s set in 1970, it feels just as appropriate today as the book was when Bloom published it more than 50 years ago. At a time when women’s rights and bodily autonomy are under threat every day since Dobbs’ decision, it’s incredibly important to talk about women’s bodies in a supportive and compassionate way. It’s hard being a woman in this world, especially a young woman trying to figure out how to fit into the world.
Ironically, the book was published three years before the Roe V. Wade case and the movie was released a year after the ruling that overturned the case. All these events happening so close to each other make one feel that history is truly destined to repeat itself. With the source material being this insightful, it begs the question if these were the reasons Craig adapted it for today.
Margaret and her mother, Barbara, deal with the struggle of trying to figure out how to blend in in an unfamiliar place. Both people try to change their identity in order to better blend in with their new environment, however, eventually both realize that changing your identity is much more difficult than just being yourself. Margaret learns that she doesn’t need to constantly try to impress her new friends or hide her identity in order to fit in, and Barbara realizes that she doesn’t want the usual stay-at-home mom life that was typical of a suburban town like this.
Moreover, this movie shows that we are never done knowing who we are, whether we are on the cusp of puberty or adults. This shows the audience that we all go through our own struggles whether internal or external or both which we will eventually get over. Also, this movie is rooted in the idea that while puberty can be scary, it is still an exciting time of change filled with experiences that help shape our character.
Every performance in this movie is amazing, and they all know exactly what they’re doing. Abby Ryder Fortson is perfectly cast as Margaret, who shows off brilliantly being a young woman at the most awkward juncture in anyone’s life, trying to cope with all the change that’s happening to her. Not only is she in a new town trying to make new friends at a new school, her body is also beginning to change in new and unexpected ways.
Kathy Bates is vocal because Margaret’s grandmother, who gets the best of traits, loves her granddaughter dearly and just wants to be supportive. While Benny Safdie is Margaret’s sweet, funny dad who just wants his family to be happy. Margaret’s assortment of friends are also perfectly chosen, all expertly playing what it was like to be 11 or 12 years old and how disturbing and perplexing everything that happens at that age can be.
Rachel McAdams, Rachel McAdams, Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams He gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this. She’s remarkably adept at this as Margaret’s loving mother who not only grapples with her relationship with her religious parents, her pre-teen daughter, and adjusting to life in the suburbs. McAdams is an open wound, giving a completely understated performance while still portraying her strength and resilience. She also represents what it meant to be a woman in the ’70s and what is expected of her now, not only as a suburban mom, but also the pressure of Kathy Bates as the overbearing mother of Benny Safdie who loves her granddaughter more than life itself.
McAdams is a very hysterical as well as a bitchy mother who comes to terms with her daughter growing up and no longer her little girl. This performance is arguably the best of her career, and McAdams deserves all the credit and praise she gets for this movie.