Oct 25, 2011

Martha Marcy May Marlene[2011]

I have to admit: I didn't see the first 5 minutes, I was busy running from the tube station through the very crowded Leicester Square! I don't think I missed too much...I think!

So, Martha Marcy May Marlene, or MMMM from now on, was brilliant! Definitely my kind of movie, going in the category with Hunger, Hard Candy, American History X and others: great script, perfect performances, with a very good direction and stunning cinematography!

The story "dances" between the past and present of MMMM, played superbly by Elizabeth Olsen. She was a revelation for me (as was Jessica Chastain yesterday)- not only is she talented, but her beauty is haunting, it's simple, yet very attractive and sweet! I think she is amazing and I can't wait to see her in another movie. I was actually thinking during the movie that I wouldn't mind watching a 2 hour movie just with her on screen! MMMM escapes from a weird family (also known as a cult, but she seems to not realize that) and goes to live with her sister Lucy (played beautifully by Sarah Paulson) and her husband Ted (Hugh Dancy).

The transitions are very good and well executed, and some scenes are shot and edited in such a way that you can't help admiring their beauty, even it is a creepy scene; for example, the skinny-dipping scene, the one in which cult leader Patrick plays Marcy's song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NGQD63qAOw&feature=player_embedded#! it's haunting), most of the random shots of Elizabeth Olsen! I must agree that lately I have been attracted to great direction, to new, interesting ways to shoot a scene, to the way it moves around the character or the sound of it (again, the waterfall, dipping scene is a great example). The finest pieces of art in this area that I have notices lately belong to movies like Drive, Hunger, and now MMMM. These are the directors we should be looking out for, not Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese. They bring something new to the table.

The script was good and to measure it in my own kind of way, I didn't look at my watch (please check the other reviews and comments to understand what I mean). It was engaging, interesting, but I can understand why someone would get bored. I didn't, because I noticed and loved the direction and the feel of the movie. It was sad to see that MMMM spent so much time there that she couldn't see the difference between good and bad, between right and wrong anymore! I remember seeing a documentary a couple of months ago about a family in the US who live life with so much hate and anger towards gay men and more; but the weird part was that they didn't think it was a wrong thing to do- for them it came naturally and they didn't understand our point of view!

As for the end, you kind of know what will happen, but it leaves it hanging- something that I usually hate, but I have seen so many endings like this one lately that it doesn't even bother me anymore! It wasn't satisfying, but I didn't hate it either!

Anyway, overall, MMMM is a fantastic movie that you should see, if not for Elizabeth Olsen's brilliant debut, at least for its story and direction! Please check it out in your local theaters or online :)

And with that, the London Film Festival reporting is over! Hope you liked it! I have more surprises lined up for you in the future, so stay tuned!


  1. Great flick! Olsen and Hawkes deserve Oscar recognition, and the film is hauntingly structured. The cinematography and editing is outstanding - and throw in this gradual sense of unease and dread and amazing scenes like Hawke's song, and this is a dead set winner.

    Another film in my Top 10 of 2011.

  2. See, why can't I write something as simple, logical and nice as you? I guess it takes years of experience! I'll get there, you just wait and see mister Buckle! :) Thanks for dropping by! Come back tomorrow,I have an interesting post/request!

  3. Aww shucks. Thanks. My ramblings are still rarely coherent or insightful but everyone improves with experience. I really like your work here - you'll be great. I know it!

    Here is my review of MMMM: http://buckle22.blogspot.com/2011/06/sff-review-martha-marcy-may-marlene.html

    I'll have a think about a recommendation and report back later, okay :-)

  4. I have to admit that I haven't paid this film much attention, probably as a reaction to that tongue twister of a title. But after reading your review, and seeing the films you've compared it to, I will be seeing this as soon as I can.

  5. Thanks for dropping by and I am glad you liked the review!Have a nice day!

  6. I loved this film as well. Can’t speak highly enough about the acting, shooting and cutting.

    Now, I’m a huge fan of ambiguity in films, of allowing the viewing to draw their own conclusion. But in my opinion, this film took it too far. It honestly felt like the director couldn’t think of a good, moderately conclusive ending, so he just deleted the last five pages of his script.

    I think this would’ve been a masterpiece if it wasn’t for its end. What did you think?

  7. I agree, the ending kinda put me off for a little bit, but it wasn't that ambiguos- I mean, from what I understood and thought it would continue as, the car would have been hit and she would have been kidnapped. That felt like the ending! But yeah, he basically didn't knew how to end it in a majestic way, so he let it there- it did feel like the shot was cut, like there was more, but he decided to leave it at that! Great movie, anyway!