Parents' Guide to

Marmalade

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Twisty crime romance has language, child abuse references.

Movie NR 2024 99 minutes
Marmalade movie poster: Joe Keery, Camila Morrone, and Aldis Hodge with their heads and shoulders in brightly colored rectangles, a blue car driving below them

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Our review:
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What initially seems like one film drives off down a different track and keeps taking unexpected detours in this twisty, playful drama from first-time director Keir O'Donnell. In Marmalade, characters talk of a place between dreams and reality, and this movie hovers somewhere in that promised land. Things feel a little off kilter, it breaks into a dance scene at the most inopportune moment, and the reliability of the narrative is always a little up for grabs. Keery (Stranger Things) is making quite the name for himself as a confident, nuanced performer who seems to be choosing one clever role after another. Here, he's almost unrecognizable as the beaten-down small-town boy, peeking out from behind his long, brown hair at the colorful promise of his dream pixie, Marmalade (Morrone). Hodge gives his own layered performance as cellmate Otis, as engulfed in Baron's quirky tale as viewers become -- watching the candy-colored, deep hued scenes unravel with increasingly murky edges. How you take the film may depend on how willing you are to be left with more questions than answers, and not everything adds up as neatly as it might, but for those willing to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride, this is a worthy journey.

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