ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET
Starring: Abby Ryder Fortson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Benny Safdie, Elle Graham, Amari Price, Katherine Kupferer, Isol Young, and Echo Kellum
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
While not quite as strong as her previous film, The Edge of Seventeen, Kelly Fremon Craig once again establishes her underpraised directorial skills with the affecting adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Even for those who haven’t read the novel (such as myself), Craig’s delicate handling of the sometimes uncomfortably real journey through female adolescence wrings charm out of every scene, co-courtesy of a great lead performance by Abby Ryder Fortson and the secret weapon that is the supporting cast. Some subplots and character journeys are dropped somewhat unceremoniously, but their eventual exclusions fit within the story being told anyway.
I went into this film unfamiliar with the book, and yet I found Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret to be a delightful and honest coming-of-age tale. As a male who, at best, has lapsed from religion, I thought Margaret’s (Abby Ryder Fortson) personal and physical journey oddly resonated with me in ways that were ugly and endearing, especially with Fortson and the fantastic supporting cast killing it. I don’t think all the plot threads end in a satisfying fashion, but I got the emotions that I hope for from a movie like this. I would happily watch it again.