A Quick Look at: Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Featuring one of the best screen performances of the year, Martha Marcy May Marlene was, sadly, shut out from the Oscars this year, but you should absolutely seek it out now that’s arrived on DVD.
Our titular character (Martha, but called by all 4 names played by a stunning Elizabeth Olsen) has just been through a harrowing ordeal as we enter the fold in this tense, affecting, and scattered film and is trying to get the gumption to call her sister in a scene that sets the stage for what’s to come without hitting the ultimate punch of the story till we’re far deeper into the rabbit hole.
At it’s heart this is the story of an aimless girl given direction by a charismatic man and his cult of worshippers but it’s able to make everyone real, if not sympathetic. John Hawkes also puts in an award worthy performance.
Shifting focus between modern day and the recent past at a whim the film holds together surprisingly well, for all it’s tricky editing. It’s worth noting that the score is top notch and it’s pulsating ambient sounds magnify the dread the surrounds a girl who isn’t quite sure how to live life anymore.