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Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret Review: The First Big Movie of 2023 – /Film

Unsurprisingly, the lynchpin of “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret” is Abby Ryder Fortson. Perhaps best known to this point for having played Scott Lang’s daughter in the first two “Ant-Man” films, Fortson quickly comes off as an immensely capable actress, shifting smoothly and effortlessly between a variety of emotions, and establishing this one like a true star-making performance. There is no more powerful scene for Fortson in the film than the one in which Margaret gradually realizes that while her parents have essentially moved away from organized religion, her parents essentially disowned her mother for marrying someone outside of the community. Christian faith. The way the scene builds to a simple yet heartbreaking crescendo is carefully modulated through Craig’s script and direction, but strongly emphasized by the deft work of Fortson, who manages to sneak up on the audience for maximum emotional effectiveness. . Her winning spirit at all times is a big part of what makes this movie so special.

Fortson is in good company with her adult co-stars, especially Rachel McAdams. Although for someone close enough to her age to remember when she was once Regina George on “Mean Girls,” it can be a little humbling to realize that she’s now the mother and no longer the student, McAdams’ performance as a mother trying to Balancing his desire to be more present for his daughter and his artistic yearnings is as precise, careful and powerful as anything else in the film. The little moments are what make her performance so strong, like when Margaret’s mom has to repeat a simple sentence to understand the story of why her parents disowned her without fully breaking down in tears. Unsurprisingly, she can also switch to humor, as in her reaction when Margaret wants her first bra. Bates, like Margaret’s grandmother, walks a finer line between being funny and being a bit cartoonish, but she always ends up on the right side of the scale.

“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” hits theaters a week before the real summer movie season begins. Just this month, we now have a feeling that movie studios may want to invest in shipping movies to theaters rather than streaming them. (What a novel idea!) And while future entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the umpteenth “Fast and the Furious” movie are guaranteed to do well, it’s movies like this that need and deserve support. The modern movie landscape feels awfully bleak if you don’t just want to watch big, loud blockbusters all the time. Not so long ago (or at least it feels like not so long ago), movies like “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret” didn’t seem so weird. Movies that spoke to a wide audience, that resonated far beyond an initial viewing, and managed to tell stories that exist entirely in the real world without risk of life or death are so rare now that when they appear, they feel blissfully happy. accident. Here is a film that deserves your attention and your support. This is a special movie, and one worth discussing for the rest of the year and after. It premieres on April 28 and you shouldn’t wait another day to see it.

/Movie Rating: 9.5 out of 10



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