Thursday, February 2, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene

This movie is weird, to say the least. It is about a girl, Martha, who shows up out of nowhere in the need of help and her sister takes her in after being completely out of contact with her for years. We do not know exactly where Martha has been but we soon find out by way of flashback that she was apart of some cult, similar to that of The Manson Family. Martha has increasing paranoia and mixes up her memories with real life. She has trouble adjusting and her sister and husband also have trouble handling her without having any clue about what she has been through. The movie is stressful and hard to watch and a little unhopeful but it is superbly acted. Elizabeth Olsen, yes she is the younger sister of the Olsen twins, gives an incredible and haunting performance. It is next to impossible to take your eyes off her. She is a far superior actress then her other two siblings with this movie alone as her evidence. It is crazy to think that this kind of talent has been hiding for this long. John Hawkes, who you will recognize from last years "Winters Bone," also gives an incredible as the leader of the abusive cult. The is the debut for director Sean Durkin, and I look forward to seeing what is next for him. The film does seem to lack a little bit of closure. To me, this is not the kind of movie you can leave open ended without any kind of solution. It felt a little slow and unfocused at times but all that is overcome by the amazing performances. I forgot to mention Sarah Paulson who probably gives the best performance of her career as the struggling sister. If you want to check out and see a major snub in this years Academy Award nominations, there is not a better example then Elizabeth Olsen in her harrowingly, powerful portrayal.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

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