20 October 2011

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Written & Directed by: Sean Durkin
Full credits at IMDb

Sean Durkin's exceptionally well-made but emotionally distant debut offers a subjective view of contemporary culthood—the initial seduction, the blind-eyed devotion, the gradual disillusionment, the post-membership paranoia, the lingering appeal. Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley, stars as the title character—that's her Christian name, her cult name, and her cult alias—and hers is a breakthrough as striking as Durkin's: as the title suggests, she's a multifaceted character, and Olsen not only embodies those divergent personalities—amiable idealist, nerve-wracked coper—but does so simultaneously, hopping organically between them within single scenes.

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