Margaret Comeback Adds L.A. Engagement; Awards Crusade Next?

The enduring saga of Margaret -- three years in the making, six years in the editing, one week in the theatrical showing, and finally rescued from oblivion by a cabal of devotees best known by their #TeamMargaret brand -- presses on this week with news that Kenneth Lonergan's embattled epic is finally returning to theaters in Los Angeles. Great! But perhaps just as interesting as how this complements the film's ongoing revival in New York City is how it shores up a better-late-than-never awards campaign by distributor Fox Searchlight.

Karina Longworth, who chose Margaret as her favorite film of 2011 (a distinction not too far from critic Alison Willmore's own here at Movieline), reports via LA Weekly that Cinefamily will launch a new engagement of the film starting Friday. The run starts at one week but could be extended based on demand -- an option exercised three times now by the proprietors of New York's Cinema Village, where tomorrow Margaret enters its fourth week on the comeback trail.

The grassroots effort to get Margaret not only seen but outwardly acclaimed represents one of the season's more inspired awards crusades, and one with which Searchlight is now playing along. Well, sort of, anyway: Speaking with Longworth, a studio publicist confirmed previous reports that Margaret screeners have been distributed Academy-wide -- for what that's worth, particularly with Oscar nomination ballots due Friday by 5 p.m. and the publicist denying that Searchlight's "strategy" for the film had changed.

But really, does the awards noise even matter in light of fans willfully prying a troubled mainstream film out from under a stubborn distributor's heavy haunches? This is something to celebrate! Do them and their efforts proud and go see this thing, already.

[LA Weekly]