Reviews by Returnofthesmith

Martha Marcy May Marlene
2011

Dir: Sean Durkin
Many saw the lack of an Oscar nomination this year for Elizabeth Olsen as a major oversight by The Academy.  After seeing her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene it is completely clear why that is. The entire film is centred on her character’s journey from wide eyed innocent, to victim, to something entirely more complicated. Olsen pulls all of this off wonderfully.
The film begins with Olsen’s character Martha escaping from what seems to be a cult. The film then follows Martha as she comes to grips with the situation she has just escaped while trying to adjust back into the life she was once a part of. As the film progresses we see through a series of flashbacks, the life that Martha had been leading for the last two years, the effects of which seem to be inescapable.
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a tense thriller. Elizabeth Olsen’s steller performance is supported by solid turns by Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy and John Hawkes. The direction by Sean Durkin is atmospheric and deliberately paced, with some beautifully done transitions between flashbacks and the present.
Recommended 
Aug 27

Martha Marcy May Marlene

2011

Dir: Sean Durkin

Many saw the lack of an Oscar nomination this year for Elizabeth Olsen as a major oversight by The Academy.  After seeing her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene it is completely clear why that is. The entire film is centred on her character’s journey from wide eyed innocent, to victim, to something entirely more complicated. Olsen pulls all of this off wonderfully.

The film begins with Olsen’s character Martha escaping from what seems to be a cult. The film then follows Martha as she comes to grips with the situation she has just escaped while trying to adjust back into the life she was once a part of. As the film progresses we see through a series of flashbacks, the life that Martha had been leading for the last two years, the effects of which seem to be inescapable.

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a tense thriller. Elizabeth Olsen’s steller performance is supported by solid turns by Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy and John Hawkes. The direction by Sean Durkin is atmospheric and deliberately paced, with some beautifully done transitions between flashbacks and the present.

Recommended 

Hara Kiri: Death Of A Samurai
2011Dir: Takashi Miike
Hara Kiri: Death Of A Samurai is a tense and powerful film by prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike. A film that while set in the year 1634 could be applied to so much about our current society. The roles of a class system and welfare are laid bare and humanity is shown at its most ugly and primal.
The plot is set into motion when a samurai arrives at the house of a feudal lord offering himself for the honour of ritual suicide. Both the samurai and the lord have secrets in their pasts and as these are revealed as the true nature of the plot becomes clear. I’ll stop the synopsis right there because the less you know about this film before you see it, the better.
After Takashi Miike’s previous film “13 Assassins” I was expecting this film to beautifully photographed and wonderfully paced and acted. A while it was all these things, what I didn’t expect was a film that was so powerful and emotional. 
Highly Recommended.
Aug 17

Hara Kiri: Death Of A Samurai

2011

Dir: Takashi Miike

Hara Kiri: Death Of A Samurai is a tense and powerful film by prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike. A film that while set in the year 1634 could be applied to so much about our current society. The roles of a class system and welfare are laid bare and humanity is shown at its most ugly and primal.

The plot is set into motion when a samurai arrives at the house of a feudal lord offering himself for the honour of ritual suicide. Both the samurai and the lord have secrets in their pasts and as these are revealed as the true nature of the plot becomes clear. I’ll stop the synopsis right there because the less you know about this film before you see it, the better.

After Takashi Miike’s previous film “13 Assassins” I was expecting this film to beautifully photographed and wonderfully paced and acted. A while it was all these things, what I didn’t expect was a film that was so powerful and emotional. 

Highly Recommended.