Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene.

This is the only Olsen you need to care about.

I wanted to be the Olsen Twins when I was a child/tween. They had it all. As an adult I can look back and note that they did have it all...except acting talent. Luckily for us, little sister Elizabeth got all those acting chops and is getting off to a good start.

Martha, Marcy May, and Marlene are all the same person. Martha, (Elizabeth Olsen) is the real thing. A young woman that has spent the last two years of her life as part of a cult and has recently run away. Marcy May is what they called her there, and Marlene was the fake name her and the other women used when answering the phone. Martha has taken refuge with her older sister, Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and her husband Ted. (Hugh Dancy) She lies to them about where she's been, but that doesn't stop her from having disturbing flashbacks and dreams about her life with the cult and it's cunning leader, Patrick. (John Hawkes) She begins a downward spiral, and Lucy and Ted just aren't fit to help her.

We don't know why Martha ran away to a cult, and in a way it doesn't matter. What matters is she made a mistake and she was obviously messed with to the point where normal things about society are now abnormal and her outlook on life is naive. Olsen really captures a lot of emotion in her first role and has a bright future. Hawkes is creepy, and their scenes together are completely uncomfortable. The ending of the film is extremely abrupt and left opened. It's hard to be bothered by it when you think of the near endless possibilities that could happen to Martha after that final scene. It's quite fascinating.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I am a teacher and a leader." - Martha (Elizabeth Olsen)


  1. Nice review. This film is definitely different in the way it tells its story and the story it’s trying to tell, and while that’s very much something to applaud, it just didn’t come together for me as well as it could have. Olsen and Hawkes were very good but overall, the film just didn’t do much for me as it did for others.

  2. nice. i should see this then. i'm really interested to see how elizabeth olsen differs from her sisters.


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