Too vague? I thought it read loud and clear. Paranoia will follow her where ever she goes. Whether or not the car they pass is the cult-mobile is not what is important.
Frightening and unnerving, this film lingers with you. Fascinating look at the way belief systems enculturate us in various ways. While the film in no way condones the cult or its leader Patrick (John Hawkes is great here) it pulls at some of the weak points in mainstream Western capitalist culture that make such alternate belief systems so attractive.
Impressive as hell. Great camerawork, those long takes, creeping and moving, quietly; great choice. And the long zoom-ins killed me, slowly. Great performances- Olsen and Hawkes has gotten all of the attention and they were really good but Sarah Paulson was even better. Great use of music and sound. Disturbing. And the flash back structure was utilized to maximum effect. Sean Durkin may be American Film's savior..
Great lead performance. Good interplay between between present and past that strengthens both sides of the story and adds to the ominous feel.
Patrick is a very weak alpha male. I don't understand how he gathered all those people around him.
In addition to seconding the comment immediately below, I'd also say: If the film could've sustained more moments like that last scene/shot, when the outcome of both the film and of M.'s sanity is suspended in so much doubt (i.e., *is* it the cult leader in the SUV following them or isn't it?), then I'd have found the film more remarkable.
A strong performance here from Elizabeth Olsen, but if you know the premise of the film and have read the tagline on the poster then the movie itself will hold no surprises for you. The less you know going in, the more I think you will enjoy "Martha Marcy May Marlene." Otherwise it's 110 minutes of a rather repetitive structure that takes you exactly where you suspect it will.
The intentionally disorienting edits mirror Martha's traumatized psyche. Some of the characterizations were of the stock variety (particularly Hugh Dancy's rich asshole husband), but that was more than made up for by the intense yet subtle tension. At its best, it recalls the slow burn of a Haneke or a Polanski.
A film with a cult-tinge that tricks the viewer into feeling that the film was made without any notion of strain or effort while treating you to intelligent conversation: finally! Miraculously directed, written, photographed and acted, I think the film points the finger at the individual, the cult and the non-cult family all the same. More, please.
More a portrait of a shattered woman than anything else. The film sets an increasingly anxious mood and plays some decent head games which make for adequate homages to its influences (Polanski, Hitchcock.) However these are two filmmakers who were often defined by their powerful and revelatory climaxes, something this film definitely lacks. It unfortunately never hits that peak, and was thus slightly underwhelming.
I saw this one during the Bucharest International Film Festival and I've really enjoyed it. The film was introduced to us as being somewhere between Polanski and Bergman. I think that's too pretentious, although there is a grain of truth in that statement. Watch it, at least for its well-crafted non-linear storytelling.
Really good film. I loved how the film subtly draws parallels between the cult life and the life of Martha's "normal" sister and brother-in-law, exposing how the sister and brother-in-law's life structure and behavior towards Martha is almost as bad as the cult's was.
Loved, loved, loved this film. Scared me so much. Elizabeth Olsen is incredible.
Despite a stunning performance by Elizabeth Olsen and an immense feeling of dread, this film really could have used a rewrite. It might have been a powerful statement with a tighter script, but ultimately it feels pointless because the ending is too vague and there's no payoff of any kind. It's frustrating, because the potential for greatness is definitely there.