Monday, January 23, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Martha is picked up at the bus stop -- scared, confused, and alone. As she attempts to settle in to a normal life with her sister, she is haunted by horrible images from the past, where she had become part of a hippie commune led by the persuasive and charismatic Patrick. Martha's nightmares, fear, and paranoia continue to build until she is unable to separate her dreams from reality. First-time director Sean Durkin has struck immediate success with MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, the award-winning cult drama from 2011. Durkin delicately interlaces the past and the present as he retells Martha's chilling experiences using an organic story structure. It is terrifying to think just how easily an impressionable mind could be manipulated and controlled in such a way, but Durkin takes all of the right steps in disarming the audience in the same way that Patrick has disarmed his followers, perfectly illustrating the power of coercion and the psychological lures that draw people in to such a group. Elizabeth Olsen is phenomenal as Martha, and commits herself mind, body, and soul. There are moments where Martha makes contact with the viewer and causes them to turn away in shame for intruding into her thoughts and emotions. John Hawkes is deadly as Patrick, coming on with a subtle charm that effectively seduces the other characters under his spell before corrupting their minds. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE will not be easily forgotten, and is a top-contender for Best in 2011.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE:
HELTER SKELTER, GUYANA: CRIME OF THE CENTURY, THE COMMUNE, THE WICKER TREE, POPULATION 436.

2 comments:

  1. I highly recommend both versions of HELTER SKELTER if you liked this Mr. J, and perhaps DEAR MR GACY as well!

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