The Towngate Cinema will present a limited engagement this weekend of the critically acclaimed “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” starring Elizabeth Olsen as a vulnerable woman who escapes from a cult in rural New York and goes to live with her sister (Sarah Paulson). Adjusting to a normal life proves difficult for her, however, because she is haunted by the memories of what happened to her when she was living with cult.
The showtimes for “Martha Marcy May Marlene” are Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 and 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at 4, 7, and 9 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 and 4 p.m. The film is rate R, and its running time is 102 minutes. The following critical commentary is compliments of Metacritic.com.
Portland Oregonian Marc Mohan It’s a topic that’s been handled in films before, perhaps most notably in Jane Campion’s “Holy Smoke,” but Durkin offers the most persuasively believable peek into the psyche of such a character I’ve ever seen.
The A.V. Club Noel Murray Because the movie plays on so many common fears – including fears of being in a remote house with big windows when intruders arrive – the confusion of Martha Marcy May Marlene proves effective, not sloppy.
Arizona Republic Bill Goodykoontz Olsen makes us understand, as best we can, Martha’s plight. She has a tenuous grip on reality, and, thanks to Olsen’s performance and Durkin’s sure hand, by the film’s end, so do we.
Orlando Sentinel Roger Moore The rawboned Hawkes manages both charm and menace in the same look, and Dancy gives his character a testy, fearful edge that doesn’t make him scary, but rather someone we fear for.
Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips The acting in Durkin’s feature is excellent. Olsen is utilized largely as an object for camera adoration, but not in the usual glamorizing way. Olsen, Hawkes and company play slippery figures with lovely assurance.
Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert A linear story, or one that was fragmented more clearly, could have been more effective. Still, a good film, ambitious and effective, introducing a gifted young actress and a director whose work I’ll anticipate.