Martha Marcy May Marlene 1.0 stars

Martha Marcy May Marlene movie poster

Martha strives to recover from a grungy cult group. Director Sean Durkin intercuts timeframes and creates a twilight sadness. The cult leader (John Hawkes) sings like Charles Manson trying to be Leonard Cohen, and as part of Martha’s “cleansing” he provides rape. As morose, inarticulate Martha, Elizabeth Olsen (sister of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley) can seem like a young Maggie Gyllenhaal drained of vitality, though the New York Times has called her the new “it girl.” Clara Bow, anyone? 2011.

David Elliott

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