Elizabeth Olsen was one of the breakout stars of this year’s Sundance festival, and this trailer for her upcoming film, Martha Marcy May Marlene, hit the internet today.
In the film, Olsen plays a young woman fleeing an abusive cult, whose leader is played by John Hawkes. She has difficulty distinguishing between dreams and actual memories, and I like how the trailer plays on the hazy, muddled headspace that she’s in.
This looks like an all-around intriguing film, but I am the most excited to see John Hawkes’ performance here. He was absolutely fantastic in Winter’s Bone, I thought. His character in that film, Teardrop, was one of the most morally ambiguous characters I’ve seen in a long time. Even as you learn that Teardrop’s intentions may not be as dark as they initially seem, Hawkes is still a very sinister onscreen presence. And though he seems to play a more traditional villain in Martha Marcy May Marlene, Hawkes looks equally as deep and magnetic. He’s cornered the market on sinister backwoods dudes in indie films recently, and it’s a type of role that I love for him.
Olsen also looks quite good here, and the whole film seems to have a tense, suspenseful vibe. I guess comparisons to Winter’s Bone are inevitable since both are Sundance favourites that feature young female protagonists in poor American circumstances attempting to deal with John Hawkes. There are definitely differences, too, though, and I am intrigued by Martha/Marcy May’s relationship with who I am assuming is her sister (Sarah Paulson) and her sister’s boyfriend/husband (the always delightful Hugh Dancy). I am now very excited for this one.
Martha Marcy May Marlene is scheduled for limited release on October 7.