James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (15)
D: Sean Durkin
Fox Searchlight/This Is That/Borderline (Antonio Campos, Patrick S. Cunningham & Josh Mond)
USA 🇺🇸 2011
W: Sean Durkin
DP: Jody Lee Lipes
Ed: Zachary Stuart-Pontier
Mus: Daniel Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha / Marcy May / Marlene Lewis), John Hawkes (Patrick), Sarah Paulson (Lucy), Hugh Dancy (Ted)
Elizabeth Olsen delivers an excellent lead performance in this domestic drama, where she plays a troubled young woman who escapes a ruthless cult in the Catskill Mountains and gets help from her sister, but can't shake off the paranoia as she suffers disturbing flashbacks of the behaviour she observed and endured there, mostly due to the cult's monstrously manipulative leader (played with relish by John Hawkes).
Despite good performances, the film doesn't really go anywhere and has no real answers to any of the issues which it brings up, before suffering an abrupt ending.
Worth watching for Olsen's performance certainly, but it's unlikely to be viewed more than once.