I'm not writing it again.
When it's not inspiring impossible drinking games (try saying the title four times after a few shots), Martha Marcy May Marlene is getting a considerable amount of festival hype and slightly premature but totally valid Oscar buzz. Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) has just escaped from the clutches of dangerous cult prettied up as a loving family and is trying to get back to normal living with her sister and her husband in one of those impossibly huge and modern houses you see on Grand Designs but never think actually exists. From the opening scenes M4 (as I'm choosing to call it) is drenched in atmosphere and an uncomfortable feeling associated with impending doom.
It deftly cuts back and forth between the present and her time with the group and demonstrates why she's acting like such a weirdo. Much like in last year's Winter's Bone, John Hawkes is quietly terrifying as the leader and is almost certain for another Oscar nod but this film really belongs to Olsen. The beginning of her career was understandably met with cynicism since she's the younger sister of child stars/actresses/fashion designers/daylight robbers Mary-Kate and Ashley but Lizzie (as I'm choosing to call her) may be the real deal. Apart from her ambiguous and genuinely affecting lead performance, she's also up for a bit of nudity (unlike her sisters) which according to certain men's magazines makes her a much better person.
So yeah, it's good.