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Pick of the Week
Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight) — Looking at Elizabeth Olsen, you know exactly who she’s related to. It’s a trait that lends the actress both familiarity and strangeness—as though you know her but you don’t. It also makes her perfect for the title role in Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene. One glance is never enough here; you have to stare, then turn the image over in your mind in order to come close to understanding what it is you’ve seen. No one in the film can quite reach Martha—AKA Marcy May, AKA Marlene, names given to her by a cultish patriarch named Patrick (John Hawkes) who takes her in under circumstances we only catch glimpses of—so it follows that we shouldn’t be able to, either. But, just as Martha’s sister on one side and her fellow indoctrinates on the other have the advantage of not only observing but interacting with her, the audience has one, too: we’re able to see both sides of her. That this only partially satisfies the question of who this young woman is speaks not only to the depth of the character but also to that of the film which carries her name–or names, rather. Read Michael Nordine’s full HTN review, as well as our Conversation With Sean Durkin. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.
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Have Not Seen Yet But Really/Kinda/Sorta/Maybe Wanna
Wild Card of the Week
J. Edgar (Warner Home Video) — Available on DVD, DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy, Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy, and 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy.