This week’s (I saw and wrote this last week butt I spent the past six[sixsix] days being a N’awlins nymph with very lil internet axxxy in the Big Easy – which I have a cornucopia of tales from the krypt cumming to a fashionasty post near you btw!) Fashionasty film series gets kidnapped with the critically claimed cult flick Martha Marcy May Marlene starring the spritely, fresh-faced, Li(l)zzie Olsen. Michelle Pfieffer meats Maggie Gyllenhaal meats Charlize Theron in the not-even-diplomaed-from-NYU newcomer who’s honeycomb is already getting buzzed by thee Academy’s bee hive. It’s also a debut for the director – Sean Durkin – who also wrote the screenplay.
If you haven’t read my review of Melancholia, go here/queer and do so now. November is stargazing month so sync your cycle with the (full) moon and cheer our favorite snaggletooth on her road to the Oscars.
People think [MMMM] was Lizzie’s first film BUT, let’s naught(y) forget:
Let’s start with the title first: MMMM.
I was like, did the Crash Test Dummies release a new album?
And if so, will it ever top this karaoke classic:
In the opening on the film our October Nylon (*See Picture Below Paragraph*) covering bebe’s fashion, or anti-fashion rather (coined by my fashion-friend-in-crime Holly Hilgenberg of Operation Sparkle – who bi-curious-way-the-bi-curious-way sat down in a major wow factor way for an xxxclusive Fashionasty Q&A debutting ASAP) really channels a happy divorce between The Crucible’s Winona Ryder and that episode of “Third Rock From The Sun” when Sally and Harry join an Amish community. #ImStuckInThe90s #WhatAreYouDoingWithYourLife?
Much like Melancholia, the film is the telling of two stories: Martha – post-cult life, and Marcy May – the name given to her by H.C.I.C. (Head. Creeper. In. Charge.) and leader-of-the-whack, John Hawkes. Or more commonly known as the dad with the burnt hand and the son who poops back in forth in Miranda July’s “Me and You and Everyone We Know.”
The cult kids in this scenario are the Death Eaters trying to snatch the Crookshanks back. (I promise this will be my only HP referrence – it’s an unhealthy habit that I tried to take to Brokeback Mountain, but I just couldn’t quit it.) She might as well have seen the Blairwitch project because I didn’t realize it at the time, but this movie creeped me the F*** out WAY later when I was home in my ikea four-poster enjoying some caviar and champagne. #Iwish It put all the scary martinis in my olive pimento. On a totally somewhat related tangent, I had to be up at 4AM this morning for a flight for a deep south tour of New Orleans, and as I was product placing my face with Aztec Clay Mask from Whole Foods ($5.99, fashionasties) I was so afraid to rinse the non-metal bowl I mixed the clay mask in because I was true life Whitney Houston, “Is There A Stranger In My Haus,” that I sat rooted in bed all f***ing night – so spare with me fashionasties if this post’s syntax is more like syntaxidermy.
After she’s picked up by her sister, Martha is haunted by her two years in the cult and through precisive, suspenseful flashbacks, we learn how disturbing her experience was. I’m sorry, but like, I get the peasant look is all the rage, so I’d totally fancy on the farm for a hot second and pick something very Lux Lisbon or Stevie Nicks from their shared clothing rack but then I wouldn’t play a fool. In the words of Flock of Seagulls, I’d run so far away.
The two themes I found most compelling were 1) Martha’s loss of identity and 2) her paranoia. Without sounding like Mother Monster, our bodies – our identities – are own, right fashionasties? Our bodies, our temples. But Martha’s “first time” – guised by the other cult women – is really just rape. And repeatedly. She’s convinced that her body is shared and she shouldn’t be greedy. Don’t confuse this with polyamory which sort of sounds fun, amirite? So long as it’s conceptual, of course. This later translate deviant behavior when she goes to live with her sister and she lays down next to her sister and her husband while they are making love because it comforts her. Without giving everything away, as she tries to reassimilate into society, Martha is jolted by her traumatic past, and she turns into the craziest cray cray in the crayola crayon box. Her paranoia toys with the voyeur because just like her, we forget what’s real and what’s not and whether or not the cult is indeed, after her. I’ve gotta put it down that the ending may be the creepiest ending I’ve seen in a movie in awhile. There’s this bated uneasiness when you leave the film, and I have Sean Durkin to thank for reinstating the paranoia and my activia challenge.
Natalie Portman’s “Black Swan” is kinda amateur in comparison. Like being haunted by ballet seems far less scary than a cult. On the other hand, a cult sounds more fun than ballet. At least you get to eat. You may have to wait til all the men eat and you only eat potato borscht, but like, it’s food, right? Anywho, Lil Olsen was so cute in this film and like totally deserves an Oscar. C’mon, does Meryl Streeo really need another nod and/or trophy?!
But everyone’s like she’s the most flawless, beautiful, talented Olsen, but wait:
Can we talk about all of this:
Lizzie is the GaGa to the twin’s Britney. She [Lizzie] went to conservatory theater school studying in Russia and auditioning while the other two, quoted by my HSBFF Tovah, “are little rich Grandmas.” To paraphrase Mariah, MK&Ash are the press conference, and Lizzie’s the conversation. Even if you’re a h8er-t0-the-Olsen-left, the twins are laffing in their fifth floor walk-ups wiping their asses with organic kale & flushing it down with homogenized beet juice from their own compost.
Go see it! I just discovered the Landmark theater in Hillcrest, San Diego. It’s playing for a limited time so support the Other Olsen.