Archive for December, 2011

Another Happy Day

Relatives circling around the table may evoke a time of  love for some but for other families it represents a struggle to make it through the meal.  The more than dysfunctional family of Another Happy Day gather in suburban Maryland for what should be a blissful marriage.  The mother of the groom, Lynn (Ellen Barkin) loathes the upcoming nuptials because it calls for a family reunion.  The ailing health of her father,  the return of her ex husband and his new wife along with the torment of her children have Lynn already halfway in tears.  Another Happy Day is ingeniously released around the time that our own family unite for the holiday season.

It seems that no one in this family is unscathed from hardship. Continue reading

Martha Marcy May Marlene

It was not until after the credits and my short walk to the car that I started to understand what I just saw.  The tongue twister title, Martha Marcy May Marlene, deals a heavy dose of psychological abuse.  The young, twenty-something protagonist, Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) starts the film by running away from her Catskills home that she shares with a miscellaneous group of people.  Not knowing where she is or where to go she reaches out to her estranged sister, Lucy (Sarah Paulson) for help.

The title’s string of names is played by a new girl to the scene with a very famous name.  Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of the famous Olsen twins, play the abused Martha.  In one of her first features outside the Olsen family film business,  Elizabeth shines as a girl struggling to find herself. Continue reading