Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011 97min.) [Film4 1.00am thursday &+1]
Drama starring Elizabeth Olsen. Lucy receives a phone call from her estranged sister Martha, asking if she can come and collect her from a bus station in upstate New York. When the pair return to the summer house Lucy shares with her partner, Martha's erratic behaviour suggests that she has undergone a traumatic experience while she has been away.
This is a really fine piece of film making by writer/director Sean Durkin, his cast and crew.
An enigmatic mystery drama about identity, self, love and loyalty (and misplaced loyalty) that plays out slowly and makes fantastic use of the simple trick of withholding all of the information from the viewer ; telling us only as much as we need to allow us to enjoy the ride - right up to the unresolved ending.
Elizabeth Olsen is superb in the title role(s) - disorientated, confused, changeable and seemingly capable of astonishing mood swings and emotional surges. It's a great part and Olsen grabs it with both hands and wrings every drop from it.
John Hawkes gives another in his string of startling supporting role performances (as in Winter's Bone) and Sarah Paulson does good work with the slightly underwritten part of Martha's sister.
One of those films that stays with you for a few days after watching. Highly recommended.