Friday, March 30, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene

I just finished watching  Martha Marcy May Marlene and I am totally blown away.  Elizabeth Olsen gives a stunning performance in this quiet, chilling and captivating film.


 
Ms. Olsen is magnetic as the shattered Martha/Marcy May, a beautiful, yet-overaged twenty-something, who is at once listless and fierce as she struggles to rebuild a life with her sister and brother-in-law,after escaping a cult buried in the U.S's North-Eastern Catskill mountains.

Martha Marcy May Marlene is definitely 2012's answer to another little flick --2010/2011's Winter's Bone which starred a slightly younger, blonder and more indie version of Hollywood's latest it girl Jennifer Lawrence. Both movies share a common thread as well - - actor John Hawkes, who I'm totally obsessed with as an artist - who takes the lead as a charismatic and albeit brutal male anchor in both.

Lawrence received an Oscar nom for her performance in the bleak indie thriller, where she played a young, beautiful, rifle-toting Ozark teenager, dealing with an unfair welfare system, struggling to locate her missing father, and to keep her little brother and sister alive while her mother loses it in front of the fireplace. Lawrence followed up the much buzzed about leading performance with another. . . As Katniss Everdeen,  (central character in The Hunger Games, released March 23). who is at the moment, the biggest fictional heroine on the planet.The Hunger Games( something with which I'm also totally obsessed) is the first film in the series based on the best-selling dystopian YA novel trilogy by Suzanne Collins, where in the future, 24 unlucky children from the formerly American continent are chosen to fight each other to the death. In it, Lawrence plays a young, beautiful, bow and arrow-toting Appalachian teenager, living in the wake of her father's death, dealing with the oppressive and creepy control of the "government" and struggling to keep her little sister alive while her mother loses it in front of the fireplace. Though both roles sound strikingly similar, Jennifer Lawrence is amazingly different and versatile in both, and even with several other performances under her belt, Jennifer Lawrence has gone from rising star to supernova in just two roles.

Catskills. Ozarks. Appalachia. Awesome girls surviving bad shit. . . Actresses, take note.

No. Even with the similarities of these roles, uniqueness still reigns. And each each stellar actress does have her own unique energy!  While they are different in essence, both Olsen and Lawrence have a similar feel in their devotion, and with Lawrence's recent mega-success, I am just on pins and needles waiting to see what  Olsen will roll out with next. The young star is also the sister of two other famous Hollywood Olsens, but really, why mention any more names? -  I mean no disrespect at all but really, Elizabeth Olsen is in no need of nepotism here. The young Ms. Olsen does have a leading role in this spring's horror flick Silent House, another film boasting several of recently trending Hollywood phenomena. Not only is it shot in real-time, but it's also the remake of a recently released backwoods European horror story. These are two fairly popular, yet unabused themes in recent film-making history and Olsen's ability to insert herself into the recently celebrated styles of film, while still maintaining her own remarkable energy is impressively promising.


Based on what I saw last night, I would have to say that Ms. Olsen is  indeed shooting straight for the top, and while I would love to see her in many more similar small art-house flicks,  I have all ideas we'll be hearing about her in more epic roles very soon. I'd be okay with that! If you think you might be interested in the film, check it out on imdb (also obsessed). Here's a quick summary from the movie database's website:

Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

So go check it out! And let me know what you think! Or, if you've seen the film or have any questions, go ahead and  post a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!! No need for a Google Account - - simply select anonymous in the drop-down menu and write your comment in the text box, if you wish to be known, simply sign your name!!! And as always, thanks for reading!!

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