I used to joke about the “third Olsen sister,” some terrible gnome that the twins keep locked away in a basement (see also: Kristen Wiig as Judice). Joke’s on me; turns out there is an Olsen sibling. Or maybe I did know that, but the knowledge somehow got lost in my brain’s muddle. Oh, well.
Anyway. Meet 22-year-old Elizabeth Olsen. You’re gonna hear a lot more about this kid in coming months, I swear. She’s currently getting ridiculously rave reviews for her eponymous role in Martha Marcy May Marlene—and I’m talking Kirsten-Dunst-in-Melancholia reviews, here.
Right now you probably know Elizabeth Olsen as the younger sister of the tycoon Olsen twins. After you see Martha Marcy May Marlene, you’ll know her as an actress of uncommon subtlety and feeling. It’s a sensational performance….
The Los Angeles Times:
…a potent debut for its star, still best known as the Olsen twins’ younger sister. This performance, which has rightly put Elizabeth Olsen in the awards season game, should go a long way toward changing all that, with the actress’ mix of edgy confidence and raw vulnerability suggesting a wealth of possibilities.
Andrew O’Hehir, Salon:
But this film-festival fave—it has been screened at Sundance, Cannes, Toronto and New York, a rare grand tour—is worth seeing for a host of reasons, paramount among them Olsen’s star-is-born performance as its vulnerable, enigmatic, maddening heroine.
The AP’s Christy Lemire:
But Olsen is just as much of a discovery. She has a beautiful, open face that seems placid, but also subtly conveys her character’s torment. At times she resembles Maggie Gyllenhaal or perhaps a young Faye Dunaway, with her deep-set eyes and prominent cheekbones, but she has a fascinating, mysterious presence all her own.
It’s a brave, thrilling performance in a film that is far and away one of the year’s best.
Yesterday, Olsen was nominated for a “Breakthrough Actor” Gotham Award, with the ensemble cast nominated for an award of its own. Martha Marcy May Marlene also stars Sarah Paulson (from “American Gothic”! I know!), Mister Claire Danes, and Oscar nominee John Hawkes, who—it kills me to admit this—I only know from “Eastbound and Down.”
Elizabeth Olsen attended the London premiere at the BFI London Film Festival yesterday, looking inexplicably adorable in a peach tiered skirt and an awful sequined blouse from Grandma’s closet. I don’t know how she does it.
Martha Marcy May Marlene opened in limited release yesterday.