Capital Celluloid 2021 — Day 108: Wed Sep 1

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Durkin, 2011): Picturehouse cinemas, various times

Time Out review:
'The American indie toast of both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals, Sean Durkin’s unnerving and insidiously offbeat horror-thriller exposes the sinister underside of religious cult deprogramming via an ingeniously suggestive and prickly performance from Elizabeth Olsen. It opens with a dishevelled and volatile Martha (Olsen) seeking refuge with her pedantic older sister (Sarah Paulson) and prig hubby (Hugh Dancy) in their sterile lakeside retreat. Formally (and, for that matter, atmospherically) we’re deep in ‘Last Year At Marienbad’ country, as the film switches back and forth in time to offer a series of layered and increasingly uncomfortable reveals as to what questionable deeds our multi-monikered heroine has been up to for the last two years. It may be a question of taste, but Dancy felt like the loose-link here: a technically strong performance, but a clichéd take on Brit obstinacy that threatened to cloud more pressing thematic concerns. Still, a very minor quibble for an otherwise majorly impressive and rigorous nightmare movie.'
David Jenkins

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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