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
Sean Durkin was looking for an unknown actress to play the role of Martha, which was the only role auditions were held for. Elizabeth Olsen auditioned twice for the role of Martha, and had to begin filming only two weeks after winning the part. See more »
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 »
[as Martha runs away]
Marcy! Marcy May! Where ya goin'?
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Elizabeth Olsen's acting in Martha Marcy May Marlene is really fantastic (it may or may not be her first feature film, not sure which she did first this or Silent House). Her acting combined with the background we get make it easy to see how someone could be drawn into a cult - and stay for so long despite the abusiveness.
The interactions between Martha, her sister and her brother-in-law are downright strange at times but not in a 'hunh?' way at all. They're strange in a way that actually makes perfect sense for the characters and the experiences they've had.
I was really disappointed by the very, very, very end of the film - but I liked the other 100 or so minutes enough that I can forgive it (or forget about it). That and I really can't wait to see Elizabeth Olsen in something else.
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