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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

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2:32 | Trailer
Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

Director:

Sean Durkin

Writer:

Sean Durkin

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Olsen ... Martha
Christopher Abbott ... Max
Brady Corbet ... Watts
Hugh Dancy ... Ted
Maria Dizzia ... Katie
Julia Garner ... Sarah
John Hawkes ... Patrick
Louisa Krause ... Zoe
Sarah Paulson ... Lucy
Adam David Thompson ... Bartender (as Adam Thompson)
Allen McCullough ... Man in Home #2
Lauren Molina ... Cult Member
Louisa Braden Johnson Louisa Braden Johnson ... Cult Member
Tobias Segal ... Cult Member
Gregg Burton Gregg Burton ... 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 2011 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

La fuga di Martha See more »

Filming Locations:

Livingston Manor, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,651, 23 October 2011

Gross USA:

$2,990,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,538,446
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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 Supernatural: Alex Annie Alexis Ann (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Waiting
Written by Devon Anderson
Performed by Devon Anderson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Martha, Marcy May, and Marlene all caught between truth, sanity and madness
12 November 2011 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) is a character who has forgotten what it means to be normal. Marcy May is a character who has been taught to ignore social values and any definition of "normal." Martha and Marcy May is the same person and that's where the conflict lies. "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is a dramatic character study which edges towards psychological thriller.

Martha has run away from the hippie commune where she was living as Marcy May. She calls her sister. Lucy (Sarah Paulson) is worried but happy to help. With a good night's sleep, dinner and breakfast, and better clothes, Martha should be fine. But the longer she lives with her sister and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), the harder it is for her to separate memories from dreams, right from wrong, and good people from bad people.

Overall, the film is slow and silent, not usual traits for a psychological thriller. But concerns for Martha's mental health grow wildly. The character of Martha, Marcy May, and Marlene is just so endearing, she's somebody you want to care for. I'm not one for the hippie lifestyle or their false ideals (and I don't think the filmmaker is either) but Marcy May just embodied the innocence of it so beautifully. Olsen has this tender powerfulness that suited the character (or characters) perfectly; she made you hold on to her with her all-knowing eyes and earnest desire to understand who she is.

With a modest budget and a somewhat original way of showing madness mixing with sanity, shot and performed beautifully, "Martha Marcy May Marlene" should be in the running for all the major Independent Spirit Awards. As the first feature for both writer/director Sean Durkin and star Elizabeth Olsen, it certainly is a stunning debut.

Before you venture into the mind of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" I will leave you with a final thought. Marlene will not tell the truth; Martha doesn't tell the truth mostly because she can't because she doesn't know what it is anymore; Marcy May wants to tell the truth.


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