DVD RvReview: Martha Marcy May Marlene
Commas, eh? Who needs them? Not the title of Martha Marcy May Marlene, a pretty decent film despite containing an Olsen sister. Find out what Ross McG thought of it below.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (three stars)
If you’re going to make a movie about a cult, you may as well get an actor who looks like Charles Manson to play the leader. The always reliable John Hawkes, best known for his chilling work in Winter’s Bone, brings a scary layer of creepy normality to Martha Marcy May Marlene as the head of a commune in upstate New York. The title references the various names given to the film’s heroine, played by Elizabeth Olsen, who flees the cult to live with her older sister. The action jumps back regularly to her time at the cult, illustrating how events there have made Martha (her real name) emotionally damaged. Writer and director Sean Durkin’s debut is sometimes guilty of throwing in a cult stereotype too many – including group sex and, uh, felicide – but it is grippingly grim in places and features a fine performance from Olsen.
This review first appeared in the Metro newspaper