Sundance Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene


Director:T. Sean Durkin

Cast:Hugh Dancy, Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson

Running Time:101 Minutes


Right off the bat, I'll tell you
that the ending of Martha Marcy
May Marlene made the movie. I'm not sure
I can say that the film grabbed me from the beginning because it was a slow
story that relied heavily on buildup. But, in the end, all that matters is that
I didn't leave disappointed.

Martha, who also is named Marcy May and Marlene, has been in a
cult for the last two years. When she finally runs away to reunite with her
sister and brother-in-law, life becomes even more complicated, as Martha has a
hard time emotionally dealing with her experiences, and the past continues to
follow her.

The acting is so strong that I
almost forgot that I was in a theatre with an audience. I'd say the casting was
done well; John Hawkes is terrifyingly creepy as the cult leader. Yet, mostly
it was the performance of Elizabeth Olsen that captured the movie's tone.

Though my initial expectations
were low, I found the directing as well as the script to be solid. And the
serious subject of Martha Marcy
May Marlene is difficult to watch, but
truly captures the eeriness of cults. For me, Martha Marcy May Marlene
was a pleasant surprise.  If you're
prepared for that, you'll certainly enjoy this film.


About Katie Scott

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