MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (2011)

TMG Scale 2.0     P Factor 0.0     MPAA Rating: R
Starring John Hawkes, Elizabeth Olsen

TMG: Huh? What? With all this limited release and hype over the worst named movie in history, TMG certainly expected something more. I have resisted for years saying that you should never mistake good film making with a good movie. My view has always been they should be one in the same. However, I have to say it sort of fits this effort. Very good actors are combined with very creative film technique to produce a really bad movie.

Joy Lynn: The title of this movie is impossible to remember.  Finally, after seeing it, if I really concentrate, I can line up the names in the correct order.  Way too much effort just to recall a movie title.

Beginning a movie with so many questions makes for a frustrating start.  Throughout the movie, I am waiting patiently for some insight.  It never unfolds. Where is Martha, Marcy May or Marlene from? Why did she join a cult?  Who are her parents?  What made her stay in the cult while being sexually abused?

Cult participation is both  intriguing and mind baffling to me, so the story did grab my attention.  It kept me interested and wanting more.  Nothing ever came. Nothing was resolved. On the other hand, any limited insight about how cults can ruin your life and change you forever is always worth exploring.  Will constant illusions and flashbacks destroy a person? Or will they eventually go away? Who knows?

What I did find out in the movie is that Elizabeth Olson is absolutely beautiful and a great actress.  I have no doubt we will be seeing more of her in the coming year. This movie is not worth the price of a theatre ticket. You might find it worthwhile to watch on DVD on a flight from  LA to New York someday. You might even pick up some tips on how to  educate your teenage daughter on why not to join a cult. Meanwhile, you have Art and Joy to save you from wasting your time and money at the theatre?

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