Of course, if actress Elizabeth Olsen had simply tapped on the fame of her older twin sisters, no one would have blamed her. Strikingly beautiful and personable, you can imagine she would have had little trouble rustling up a steady stream of rom-com and mild dramatic roles. But the truth is she wants more than anything to be a serious actress, one of those artists who takes chances on difficult roles simply because they welcome the challenge. She has just such a part in Sean Durkin's excellent new film Martha Marcy May Marlene. Olsen plays a young woman just escaped from an upstate New York cult who spends a few weeks with her estranged sister in a vacation home while attempting to pull back the shattered pieces of her life. It's an oddly esoteric film, made all the better by Olsen's sterling—and fearless— performance. But don’t just take our word for it: See what Olsen and director Durkin have to say about it.
Can you describe your film in a single tweet?
Sean Durkin: Martha escapes from a violent cult and struggles to reconnect with her family while she gets paranoid that the cult is coming after her.
Can you come up with a good log line for the movie?
SD: No, I can't. But there's an awesome quote on one of these posters: "Have you ever had that thing where you can't tell if something is a memory or a dream?"
Elizabeth Olsen: That's one of my favorite lines, I gotta say.
If someone really liked this film, what three other films would Netflix recommend to them in their Netflix queue?
EO: That's a great question.
SD: Rosemary's Baby, Three Women, and ...
EO: Oliver Twist? [laughs]
SD: That's a good one. The musical. No, I would say Silkwood. There's some amazing things about it.
Should you drink before or after the movie?
SD: During. [laughs] No, after. Definitely. It requires your full attention.
What should you drink?
EO: A single-malt whiskey.
Should you see this movie alone or with friends?
EO: Both. If you see it with friends, it's more fun to talk about it after.
SD: I could see advantages and disadvantages to both.
EO: Yeah, because when you talk to someone, what they have to say starts to influence what you thought.
SD: Sit with it, because it leaves a feeling. But it raises a lot of questions too.
Martha Marcy May Marlene is now playing at the Ritz Five.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephen Lovekin