Martha Marcy May Marlene
You can get away. But you can never escape.
Martha has run away from an abusive hippie-like cult where she was living as Marcy May for two years. She turns to her sister and brother-in-law who take her in and want to help her. The problem is Martha is having a hard time separating dreams from reality and when haunting memories of her past keep resurfacing, she may need more help than anyone is able to give her.
Chilling and terrifying. A beautiful and powerful film about the mental destruction wrought by cults; it will make your skin crawl.
Kudos to Elizabeth Olsen, who keeps her performance mostly subtle. There're plenty of places where she might have over-acted, but instead we get a lot of quiet body language and facial expressions to communicate her fear, confusion, and unease.
Equally terrific is John Hawkes (who also rocked a slightly different kind of character in Winter's Bone) as the cult leader. He controls and manipulates these young women, telling them just enough to allow them to rationalize what's happening. It's a classic cult technique, where the leader teaches disciples that black is really white -- see the scene where he…
Part of the No Rewatch November 2012 Project.
Movies usually don't affect me as much as this one did. Without any real sense of force on the part of the filmmaker, he created something that sinks into you, scares you, and then breaks your heart. Or maybe it's the other way around. It's taken me a while to figure out what I wanted to say about it and I'm still not sure anything I say will mean anything next to the experience of watching it.
Watching Olsen, as Martha, unfold her own mind in the wake of a series of profoundly disturbing years is really all the story is after, but it turns out to be more than enough.
Backwoods hillbillies trap fashion bloggers holding them captive in their sex cult with only dialup internet.
Cults in movies are rarely subtle; they deal with larger than life crazy leaders, overt physical and mental abuse and normally end in a blood bath. Martha Marcy Mar Marlene is not that film, it is far more suggestive than explicit and keeps much of its ‘action’ off screen. The subtlety works in its favour, there is a sense of dislocation and even disorientation during the film that puts the audience in a similar mental state to Martha. The non-linear narrative is not just a novelty but an important representation of the character’s emotional condition. The jumps back and forth between commune life and ‘normal’ family life are expertly handled as the two gradually bleed into the same space and…
Sean Durkin makes his directorial debut with the psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene. The film received its theatrical release on 3rd February 2012, but premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and won Durkin the Dramatic Directing Award.
Elizabeth Olsen is the star of the film; playing the lead role of Martha/Marcy May. She is a character who has recently escaped the clutches of an evil cult and is attempting to settle herself back in to reality. However, her pretence of normality soon begins to fade, and it is not too long before she becomes hopelessly paranoid, expecting the members of the cult to track her down.
It seems as though Elizabeth Olsen has successfully steered clear of being…
What’s that noise? Oh it’s just my jaw dropping and hitting the floor…
What a film.
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a film that through subtleties and flashbacks creates tension and uneasiness that I have only ever experienced before with Dogtooth. It covers the mental sanity of the lead protagonist as she struggles with a life she wants to live, yet keeps finding herself remembering the life she once lived. Not only that, but her old life seems to be catching up with her, or at least (from our perspective) that’s what we are led to believe.
Through the film, the lead, Martha, displays signs of paranoia and is constantly haunted by past memories. She is also fearful that those…
Debut film for writer/director Sean Durkin and lead star Elizabeth Olsen, both of whom exceed expectations with this finely paced and crafted drama. The plot is about Martha who has spent a year or more in an abusive cult and looks to family for shelter upon escape. This film uses a non-linear chronology which usually ends in a reveal but here it is used to provide growing emotional context which heightens the unfolding drama - and it works. We feel the tenseness, paranoia and trauma that Martha does. Also, John Hawkes is amazing in everything.
Olsen is amazing on this, she carries the movie with her performance. The movie delivers in showing a believable path of how a young girl can get involved in a cult, and call it home. The resulting breakdown comes quite naturally. The ending... well I generally like open endings, but this was a bit too much.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The cast - and Elizabeth Olsen in particular - is fantastic, and elevates what could have been a disorienting experience into something engrossing and hypnotic.
The Olsen sister that got away couldn't save this movie from being one of the most self-satisfied pieces I've seen in a long time. Themes that have been explored before mixed in with scenes that are meant to shock.
Filme desenvolvido em camadas, com maravilhosa edição e final em aberto. Sundance não dá tiro no pé quando investe em películas.
O diretor é uma promessa.
Elisabeth is the true star of the Olsen sisterhood. She shines so bright with her assured performance of a damaged soul, wrecked by a horrific cult leader who is played by an equally amazing Hawkes. A harrowing story, masterfully directed is not an easy watch which might haunt you the same way Martha is haunted in the film by her ordeals.
This film impressed me on multiple levels. After my finishing a movie, I generally look up information about the film(cast,crew,etc.) With MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, I was honestly surprised that this was director Sean Durkin's first full-length film. That piece of information, along with knowing this was Elizabeth Olsen's debut, only helped enhance my attitude towards this film.
With a psychological drama like this one, it is important to be able to enter the mind of the main character. Olsen is essentially playing two characters in this movie, the innocent 'Marcy May' and the delusional Martha. In the flashback sequences, we see her character develop overtime as she transitions from the new-comer into a mentor. The other members of the…