It’s Elizabeth Olsen’s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five of her overlooked or lesser-known performances. Check some of these out!
Wind River (2017)
Taylor Sheridan took on the role of director for Wind River, having previously written tense thrillers Sicario and Hell or High Water. Starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, it can be described as a neo-western or mystery thriller. All that matters is it’s a fantastic movie. Olsen plays FBI agent Jane Banner who has been sent to Wind River Indian reservation in Wyoming to investigate a possible homicide. She teams up with Corey Lambert (Renner) and the two make for a great odd couple team, as they come from vastly different backgrounds. It’s a gritty and at times intense watch, with Olsen being the standout performer.
Silent House (2011)
Long before 1917 or even Birdman was released, Silent House utilised the one-take approach to filmmaking. A psychological horror with a tight runtime of 88 minutes, it’s not quite shot in one single take but does all it can to make you think otherwise. Olsen is the star and we watch on as she gets trapped in a property that she’s helping her Father and Uncle renovate. As the story progresses things go bump in the night, leading to a few moments of genuine tension and some well-crafted jump scares. The idea of a single take is to immerse the viewer into the movie and whilst the concept is better than the actual reality with Silent House, there is no denying Olsen’s talent in one of her earliest films.
Kodachrome is a Netflix original starring Jason Sedakis and Ed Harris, playing Father and Son. Harris’ character Ben has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has requested for his son to drive him halfway across the country in order to visit the only shop left in America that still develops Kodachrome film. Various plot points are set up in order for this to happen, considering the pair despise each other and haven’t spoken in over a decade. Olsen’s character Zooey is Ben’s nurse and spends most of the movie acting as a referee between the two. It’s a heartwarming story with a fantastic performance from a grizzled Ed Harris, but it wouldn’t work at all if not for Olsen’s calm and measured performance holding everything together.
Ingrid Goes West (2017)
An odd little film that at it’s heart is a satirical look at the emptiness and excesses of social media. Olsen plays influencer and Instagram star Taylor Sloane. She has a seemingly perfect life and this leads to Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) becoming obsessed with her. After a brief engagement via Instagram, Ingrid decides to move to LA in an attempt to befriend her idol. What we are left with is a dark comedy and more than a few laughs. At the same time, there is a deeper message if you want to look for it. Aubrey Plaza is undoubtedly the star but that wouldn’t be the case if it wasn’t for Olsen’s terrific performance and the superb chemistry between the two.
Martha Mary May Marlene (2011)
Olsen plays Martha, a 22-year-old woman who is suffering from deep emotional trauma after a stint with an abusive cult, now returning to her family. As she spends time at her sister’s lake house the narrative plays out with flashbacks to her time in the cult, along with the present day as she tries to adapt back to a normal life. It can be a tough watch at times, particularly during the flashback scenes, as we learn how the cults charismatic leader used and manipulated her. Even though her behaviour is erratic (to say the least) in the present day, Olsen still manages to draw empathy from us in what for me, is her finest performance to date.
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday girl Elizabeth Olsen?