MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 277 days ago

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Martha Marcy May Marelene is the ultimate Sundance movie (not an insult). It offers a breakout performance by a new performer (here Elizabeth Olsen) familiar character actor faces from the supporting cast (Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes), and a strong directorial tone and style from first timer Sean Durkin. It’s also a small movie – but not in a bad way – that tells of how a woman survived the cult she was in, and how she tries to adjust to the outside world. Our review of Martha Marcy May Marlene on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

Top 10 Films of 2011

by     Posted 2 years, 356 days ago

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Between festivals and theatrical releases, I saw over 100 new films this year.  Some were awful, some were good, and some were mediocre.  And then there were the movies that stayed with me, and more importantly, held up on repeat viewings.  In past years, I’ve usually only had one chance to watch a movie and sometimes the initial positive impression was enough to land it on my annual Top 10 list.  Then I looked back on the list six months later and realized some films shouldn’t have made the cut.  This year, I got to attend major festivals and received “For Your Consideration screeners, which made it easier to double-check movies I enjoyed.  If you’re wondering why movies that originally received an a high rating didn’t make the list, it’s because while I still liked them on a second viewing, their faults became more apparent.  The movies on my Top Ten list became better on repeat viewings and I look forward to watching them again and again over the years.

Hit the jump to check out my picks for the Top 10 films of 2011.

Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced; DRIVE, 50/50, and THE ARTIST Up for Top Prize

by     Posted 3 years, 21 days ago

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The nominations for the 27th Annual Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning with The Artist and Take Shelter each nabbing five nominations. In addition to The Artist and Take Shelter, Drive, 50/50, The Descendants, and Beginners will duke it out for the top prize. Absent from the Best Feature list is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, though the film was recognized in Best Supporting Male (Corey Stoll) and Best Cinematography. Also of note, Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes landed nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Male for Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Ryan Gosling and Woody Harrelson were both singled out in Best Actor for Drive and Rampart respectively.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations. Recognizing the best in independent film, the awards will be handed out on February 25th, the day before the Oscars.

2012 Oscar Preview: Best Actor and Best Actress

by     Posted 3 years, 25 days ago

Yesterday we unveiled our picks for the top contenders in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories for the upcoming 84th Academy Awards. Today, we’re taking on Best Actor and Best Actress. Though it’s still relatively early in the race, we’ve got some surefire contenders and a couple of clear frontrunners for the top acting categories. In addition to Academy darlings like George Clooney and Meryl Streep, we’ve seen some extraordinary performances from relative newcomers likes Elizabeth Olsen and Michael Fassbender. As I stressed yesterday, it’s still pretty early so things can definitely change between now and February, but there are certainly some clear frontrunners in these two races already. Hit the jump to see find out how everyone stacks up.

John Hawkes MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE Interview

by     Posted 3 years, 59 days ago

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Martha Marcy May Marlene is a psychological thriller about a young woman (played by Elizabeth Olsen) who undergoes a crisis of identity after escaping a cult-like farming community where she suffered unspeakable abuses. As her past memories flash throughout her present, the audience gets to catch glimpses of manipulative community leader Patrick (John Hawkes), who is as chilling as he is charming.

At the film’s press day, the always complex and fascinating actor, John Hawkes, spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about wanting to layer this character in a way that would keep him from becoming clichéd, approaching this more as a misguided community than a cult, not judging the character so that the audience never quite knows what to make of him, and quickly seeing how special and dedicated an actress Elizabeth Olsen is. He also said that he’s about to start work on Steven Spielberg’s movie about Lincoln and, although he cannot talk about it, the script is “really wonderful.” Check out what he had to say after the jump:

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE Review

by     Posted 3 years, 60 days ago

[This is a re-print of my review from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival]

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a powder keg of tension, paranoia, and regret that will have you captivated with incredible direction and amazing performances. Centering on a young woman who escapes from a cult only to discover that she can’t re-assimilate, the storytelling is always restrained, intelligent, and compelling. In his debut feature film, director Sean Durkin brilliantly ties together haunting cinematography, intense sound design, and smart editing. Elizabeth Olsen gives a breakthrough performance as the haunted Martha, and costar John Hawkes continues to amaze. Never showy but always compelling, Martha Marcy May Marlene is one of the best films I’ve seen at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Elizabeth Olsen Interview MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

by     Posted 3 years, 62 days ago

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Martha Marcy May Marlene is a psychological thriller about a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes the confines of a rural cult-like farming community and rejoins her old life when she calls the estranged sister (Sarah Paulson) she hasn’t seen in years. Trapped by her own devastating memories, and consumed by paranoia and guilt, she is unable to act in a way others find normal. Although she is seemingly safe, her secrets hold her captive and nothing feels like home.

At the film’s press day, actress Elizabeth Olsen talked about the star-making debut performance, her desire to focus on what was on the page rather than speaking to any real survivors, how she is able to keep herself very separate from her roles, what she thinks of the film’s ambiguous ending, and how she’s always wanted to be an actress, but just went about it in a different way than her famous sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley. Check out what she had to say after the jump:

Collider Picks: Adam and Jason’s Five Most Anticipated Fall 2011 Films

by     Posted 3 years, 100 days ago

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With the summer movie season officially a thing of the past and many awards season contenders bracing at the bit to reach general audiences, we figure now is a good time to breakdown some of our most anticipated films of the fall. After the jump, you’ll see that Adam and Jason have taken the honor of presenting the five films each is most looking forward to catching along with some basic info on the flicks and a brief explanation of why they chose the ones they did. Hit the jump to check out their lists and be sure to use the comments section to share your own most anticipated films.

International Trailer and Poster for MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

by     Posted 3 years, 110 days ago

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The international trailer for Martha Marcy May Marlene has gone online and it makes the film look a little too much like an intense thriller rather than the unnerving, creepy flick that gets under your skin.  However, the trailer also highlights John Hawkes’ incredible performance as a seductive and violent cult leader and I’m hoping he’ll stand-out in the increasingly crowded Best Supporting Actor race.

Hit the jump to check out the international trailer and poster.  The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, and Hugh Dancy.  Martha Marcy May Marlene will play at the Toronto International Film Festival, open domestically in limited release on October 21st, and is due out in the UK in early 2012.

2 Creepy Trailers and 2 Weird Posters for MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

by     Posted 3 years, 120 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released two new posters that will lead you to two new trailers for Martha Marcy May Marlene.  The movie is about a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen giving a breakthrough performance) who escapes from a cult but struggles to re-assimilate into normal society.  It was one of the best films I saw at Sundance and it continues to be one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.

The way you can get to the new trailers is by scanning the giant QR code on the poster using a barcode scanner app from your phone.  It seems like something done for the sake of using QR codes, and while I think they can used well, they’re not really appropriate for this movie. Martha Marcy May Marlene could have easily been made 30 years ago since it rarely uses any modern technology, and certainly not in anyway that’s crucial to the story.  Thankfully, the QR codes lead you to trailers that convey the creepiness of the movie and hopefully they’ll encourage folks to check out the flick.  We’ve embedded the trailers along with the posters after the jump.  Martha Marcy May Marlene opens October 21st in limited release.

Line-Up Announced for New York Film Festival; Features CARNAGE, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, and THE DESCENDANTS

by     Posted 3 years, 125 days ago

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This year’s festival season continues to take shape as the full line-up for the 2011 New York Film Festival has been revealed.  Roman Polanski’s Carnage will open the festival, Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn will be the “Centerpiece Gala Section”, there will be special gala presentations of David Croneneberg’s A Dangerous Method and Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants will close out the festival.  Other noteworthy films playing are the Cannes’ sensations The Artist and Melancholia, the hit Sundance films Marcy Martha May Marlene, Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Abel Ferrara’s 4:44: Last Day on Earth, and Wim Wenders’ 3D film Pina.

Hit the jump for the full line up.  The New York Film Festival runs from September 30 – October 16th.

Galas and Special Presentations for 2011 Toronto Film Festival Announced; BUTTER, MONEYBALL, RAMPART, THE DESCENDANTS, and More to Debut

by     Posted 3 years, 147 days ago

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In my article yesterday about the Venice Film Festival, I made some predictions on which films would make their world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and not Venice.  It turns out a few of my guesses were only the tip of the iceberg.  Moneyball, 50/50, and The Descendants are all going to premiere at TIFF.  But my lord, does Toronto have an incredible line-up this year.  I’m praying my application gets approved because when you hit the jump and check out this line-up, you’ll understand my agony if I’m stuck in Atlanta while these films are premiering.

Hit the jump for the line-up of Galas and Premieres for this year’s festival.  The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th – 18th.

Trailer for MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

by     Posted 3 years, 230 days ago

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One of the best films I’ve seen so far this year is the haunting and emotionally complex drama Martha Marcy May Marlene.  Now Fox Searchlight has released a trailer for the flick and it does a good job of selling how the story jumps around in time and showing the fractured psyche of its protagonist (Elisabeth Olsen in a breakthrough performance).  I also love how it closes out with John Hawkes singing and giving you a hint of how disturbing he is in this film.  I honestly believe he’s headed towards another Oscar nomination for his work in this film.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and click here to read my Sundance review.  Martha Marcy May Marlene will play at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  It opens in the U.S. on October 7th.

2011 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

by     Posted 3 years, 324 days ago

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The Sundance Film Festival Juries have selected the winners of the 2011 awards.  The big winner is Like Crazy, which won both the Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic) and a Special Jury Prize for actress Felicity Jones.  Naturally, Like Crazy already has a distribution deal in place with Paramount.  Circumstance, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Pariah are a few of the other winners in the dramatic competition.Notable documentary winners include How to Die in Oregon, Buck, and Project Nim

Click here for all of our coverage of Sundance, including reviews and distribution reports for these films and more.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners and the juries who handed out the awards.

Sundance 2011: MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE Review

by     Posted 3 years, 328 days ago

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a powder keg of tension, paranoia, and regret that will have you captivated with incredible direction and amazing performances.  Centering on a young woman who escapes from a cult only to discover that she can’t re-assimilate, the storytelling is always restrained, intelligent, and compelling.  In his debut feature film, director Sean Durkin brilliantly ties together haunting cinematography, intense sound design, and smart editing.  Elizabeth Olsen gives a breakthrough performance as the haunted Martha, and costar John Hawkes continues to amaze.  Never showy but always compelling, Martha Marcy May Marlene is one of the best films I’ve seen at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

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