A star is born in Elizabeth Olsen. Although many on the fest circuit have already seen Martha Marcy May Marlene, and therefore not much is being written about her performance but it’s well worth mentioning that it’s rare to have such a spectacular debut from someone coming from utter obscurity (okay, so being an Olsen sister isn’t exactly obscurity but you get the idea). She reminds me of Carey Mulligan’s debut — Mulligan just gets better and better, clearly not satisfied with being the “it” girl for a second, she’s now built an impressive, diverse body of work that should make this year’s graduates hopeful for their future; Hollywood so often takes the pretty young things, uses them up, spits them out and by the time they hit 30 there is nothing left of them.
Steven Soderbergh said once that talent and hard work equal luck: be ready when it happens. I think he said that. If he didn’t say that exactly he said something along those lines. Mulligan was ready when it happened to her. Already this year she’s turned in two magnificent supporting performance, each completely different from the other — what they share is her unmistakable vulnerability. She steals Drive as the literal “girl next door,” and in Shame, she plays someone so wrecked internally she can barely make it through the day. There is no doubt Mulligan is something special.