So I saw a movie this past weekend that quite honestly f’ed me up a bit. Translation: I loved it. You’ve got to go see it. Sure, I’ve had a couple nightmares since and yes, I freaked out a bit last night when I returned home to the back door wide open (thank you wind), but the film is incredible. And don’t worry, the plot is easier to follow than it is to say the actual title five times fast.
“Martha Marcy May Marlene” tells the story of a naturally gorgeous twenty something who suffers from anxiety and extreme paranoia after fleeing from an abusive cult. To say she has major issues is an understatement – she was brainwashed, after all, and struggles with separating delusion from reality. Her sister, Lucy, and her husband with an accent take her in, trying desperately to help her be “normal” despite her awkward and sometimes violent behavior. Flashbacks tell the horror of what she escaped, nitty gritty and all, but even those seem to morph with the present in such a seamless way that you find yourself unsure of what is really going on with Marcy May.
Now here’s the biggest shock of all…Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen’s little sister, Elizabeth, gives a stellar performance as Marcy May. That’s right, someone in the Olsen family has the ability to wear real clothes and show emotion. I bet it’s weird for Mary Kate & Ashley having a sister with actual talent. You feel? Eh, well for the first time an Olsen might just win herself an Oscar.
All in all, it’s a disturbing and haunting film that leaves you with an ache in the pit of your stomach and an overwhelming sense that you just witnessed something great. Sure, it’s a little unnerving and no, there’s no cookie cutter resolution, but it is definitely worth the $7.50. And for those of you who need further justification, Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+, which is basically an A+ in my book.
Grab someone nice and go see it.