One of the most impressive performances at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (and there were many) came from Elizabeth Olsen in the new drama “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” The psychological drama won director Sean Durkin a prize from the festival’s dramatic jury, but Olsen ended up falling behind “Like Crazy’s” Felicity Jones in the acting category. If there is any justice, both will be nominated for best actress eight months from now.
“Marcy May” tells the story of its title character, played by Olsen, amid a web of flashbacks as she tries to recover from her seductive indoctrination by a small Upstate New York cult. While readjusting to the “real world” at her sister’s affluent summer home she becomes increasingly convinced the cult’s leader (John Hawkes) will try to forcibly take her back to the group’s collective-like farm. As I wrote in January, Durkin delivers an impressive (if somewhat long) exercise in psychological terror. Although that makes the film’s thrills sound much less subtle than they turn out to be (this isn’t “Black Swan” mind you).
Searching for a mass audience, Fox Searchlight has turned up the heat a bit in the film’s brand new trailer which was released today. Nevertheless, it serves as an excellent sampling of Olsen’s superb work which will be generating buzz throughout the rest of the year.
Take a gander at Ms. Olsen’s skills in the new preview embedded in this post below.
“Martha Marcy May Marlene” opens in limited release on Oct. 7.