Martha Marcy May Marlene
Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson
20th Century Fox
R; 102 minutes
February 21, 2012
IMDb; Amazon; Amazon Instant Video
In Martha Marcy May Marlene Elizabeth Olsen stars as the young woman who has just made her escape from a cult - and its charismatic but dangerous leader - and is trying to assimilate herself back into life with her older sister and her sister's husband (Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy).
Martha - or Marcy May as she was known in her other 'family' - has trouble fitting in with the very different life her sister and brother-in-law are living. Soon memories - and even possible delusions - lead to increasing paranoia that only make it even harder for the very different Martha to pretend she's fine.
Elizabeth Olsen's acting in Martha Marcy May Marlene is really fantastic (it may or may not be her first feature film, not sure which she did first this or Silent House). Her acting combined with the background we get make it easy to see how someone could be drawn into a cult - and stay for so long despite the abusiveness.
The interactions between Martha, her sister and her brother-in-law are downright strange at times but not in a 'hunh?' way at all. They're strange in a way that actually makes perfect sense for the characters and the experiences they've had.
I was really disappointed by the very, very, very end of the film - but I liked the other 100 or so minutes enough that I can forgive it (or forget about it). That and I really can't wait to see Elizabeth Olsen in something else.