The Projector

‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ Is The Projector’s Movie of the Week

Will Leitch
The Projector

We're starting a new feature here at The Projector today, let's see if it works: Every week, we're gonna give you our pick of the week, the one film that we agree that you should run out and see before any other this weekend. Some people think we're too negative. We think you should blame the movies for that, not us, but nevertheless: Every week, we'll recommend a movie you should see, with links to great interviews, our own writings and where you can get tickets. We're not afraid to be service-y!

So, this week pick is "Martha Marcy May Marlene," a devastating and terrifying look at a young woman (played by Elizabeth Olsen, yes, the younger sister of the Olsen twins) who escapes a cult to live with her sister, and her psychological trauma. We're not gonna give away any more than that. It's a serious achievement for first-time writer/director Sean Durkin and, we believe, one of the best films of the year. So go see it. Here's all you need to know, and how to make that happen:

The Projector Movie Pick of the Week: "Martha Marcy May Marlene."
Director: Sean Durkin.
Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Hugh Dancy, Sarah Paulson.
Quote From Our Review: "On its surface, this feature debut from writer-director Sean Durkin looks like a traditional indie drama, but the longer it goes along its creeping darkness and paranoia start to engulf you. First it seems like that terror is simply inside the head of the movie's imbalanced heroine, but pretty soon it consumes everything around her."
Quote From Another Critic You Respect: Anthony Lane, The New Yorker: "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."
Quote From Smart Interview With the Director: "I wanted to do something character-based, contemporary and naturalistic. I feel like cults are usually portrayed so that they're over the top caricatures of themselves. So I started doing a lot of research and I read one passage that just completely popped out at me and said, 'this is the story I want to tell.' It was about a girl who left a group that was growing more and more violent. I wondered what the weeks after leaving were like for her? How does someone settle back into normal society after living through that?"
Metacritic Rating: 74.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91.
Clips: Right here.
Where It's Playing: On four screens, in New York and Los Angeles. It expands to Dallas, Toronto, Chicago, San Diego and San Francisco on October 28. Buy tickets here.

So, what are you waiting for, people? Go see it! (If and when it's in your city!)

View Comments