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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

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Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

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22 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Max
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Watts
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Ted
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Katie
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Sarah
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Zoe
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Bartender (as Adam Thompson)
...
Man in Home #2
Lauren Molina ...
Cult Member
Louisa Braden Johnson ...
Cult Member
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Cult Member
...
Man in Home #1
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Storyline

Martha has run away from an abusive hippie-like cult where she was living as Marcy May for two years. She turns to her sister and brother-in-law who take her in and want to help her. The problem is Martha is having a hard time separating dreams from reality and when haunting memories of her past keep resurfacing, she may need more help than anyone is able to give her. Written by napierslogs

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

21 December 2011 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La fuga di Martha  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$137,651 (USA) (21 October 2011)

Gross:

$2,981,638 (USA) (3 February 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elizabeth Olsen and Sarah Paulson invented together some background for the sisters' relationship. So every scene when they talked about their past, although it's vague on the script and for the viewer, Olsen and Paulson knew exactly what Martha and Lucy are talking about. See more »

Goofs

When Marcy/Martha wakes up after freaking out at her sister's party, she is wearing heavy, perfectly applied makeup. Since she had previously had an emotional breakdown, then slept, this is unlikely. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Watts: [as Martha runs away] Marcy! Marcy May! Where ya goin'?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.99 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ba Bop Bop Bop
Written by Brady Corbet and Christopher Abbott
Performed by Brady Corbet and Christopher Abbott
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Tons of potential
3 June 2012 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

I'm tempted to give Martha Marcy May Marlene a higher rating than it deserves for what it could have been, not for what it is. It boasts two young talents who are showing tons of potential - director Sean Durkin and lead actress Elizabeth Olsen; Olsen's performance is subtle and effective, and Durkin's directorial work creates a strong sense of atmosphere, which is aided by the superb cinematography of Jody Lee Lipes (who also had very little prior experience in feature length films). It's a film that looks and sounds great, but unfortunately it doesn't mesh into a satisfying experience.

It's probably because there's so much potential and so much to explore, and so little of it is actually brought to fruition, that I left the film with a bitter taste of a missed opportunity. The cult, for example, is fascinating, seductive and nightmarish, and John Hawkes delivers outstandingly, but on closer inspection it looks like a perfectly generic hippie cult of the classic Manson prototype, and we get no hints of what their philosophy actually is, or about the personalities of any of the members. The same goes for the relationship between Martha, her sister and her brother in law, and most of all the ending, which suggests some very interesting subjects which the rest of the movie doesn't really explore.

To be clear: I don't object to open endings or films that leave a lot of information out to allow viewer interpretation, but in this case I felt it was done as a cover up for lack of decision on Durkin's part - a flawed script that doesn't really feel complete. I'll definitely check out his work in the future, but this film isn't quite there yet.


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I don't like these endings because ... martasavila
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