Martha Marcy May Marlene
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.