The Olsen sisters’ filmography doesn’t exactly scream “Oscars.”
Or, rather, it didn’t.
That all changes this weekend, when “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” a thriller anchored by Elizabeth Olsen — younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley — opens in theatres.
“Martha Marcy May Marlene” chronicles the descent of a naive girl into the psychological grip of a cult leader, played with subtle mania by John Hawkes, and her strained attempts to recover after finally escaping.
As reviews of the film have begun to leak out, they almost unanimously focus on the presence of Olsen. “[She] gives a superb performance, battling confusion, radiating anxiety, and desperately asserting her beleaguered identity,” J. Hoberman writes in the Village Voice. Thinking long-term, the New York Post’s Kyle Smith says, “This is the first great performance of what promises to be a career of them.”
And where the better-known Olsen sisters have become tabloid fodder, every facet of their appearance picked over and scrutinized, the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane calls her at times “overwhelmingly beautiful.”
So, as the family twins continue to do… whatever it is they’ve been up to, Elizabeth Olsen should have no problem carrying the acting duties going forward.
Mary-Kate and Ashley later named one of their clothing lines, Elizabeth and James, after Olsen and their younger brother.
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