Elizabeth Olsen: New Yorker’s Anthony Lane: Family Farm

19 October, 2011

Elizabeth Olsen  "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

Elizabeth Olsen "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

“This girl arrived like Cinderella on a rocket sled.” The college senior makes her feature film debut October 21 as the title character in the psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene.
“the miracle of Olsen’s work in this film is that she both bows to that imposition, as befits her character’s vulnerability, and also struggles against it, as if to shout, “No, that is not all. He can’t watch me forever. I can be free.” She could almost be a movie star under the whip of a demonic director, and the battle to cling to her coherent self is as touching—and, depending on how you read the final shot, as undecided—as Elisabeth Shue’s portrayal of another victim, in “Leaving Las Vegas.” In Martha’s slow, stunned movements, which persist even in the refuge of her sister’s home, we see what it means to be colonized in spirit, and “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is not so much a religious parable as a private war film: Patrick versus Martha, the conqueror against the virgin land. It should be a great escape, too, but I fear the worst.” here


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