REVIEW: Marmalade


Marmalade is a sweet cinematic confection with a few unexpected ingredients.

Baron (Stranger Things’ Joe Keery) is a simple, small-town boy with a mane of dark hair, a job at the post office, and a dying mama on whom he dotes. Sadly, his refusal to alter the former leads to the loss of his gainful employment. How now will he afford the ever-more-expensive medication his mama needs?

Then Marmalade (Camilla Morrone, Daisy Jones and the Six) blows into town with her muscle car, her pink boa, and maniacal laugh, like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl from hell. They embark on an unlikely, star-crossed, whirlwind romance – Forrest Gump and Harley Quinn. With a couple of beers, overlooking the local quarry, Marmalade pops the question: “Let’s rob a bank.” Well, not so much a question as a suggestion, a course of action on which Marmalade is suspiciously hellbent.

After some persuasion, Baron reluctantly agrees to be the Clyde to Marmalade’s Bonnie, if only for the sake of mama. We already know that things don’t work out: in the present, Baron is sharing a cell with Otis (Aldis Hodge, most recently in Black Adam), to whom he’s relating this tale. You see, Baron needs out and Otis, it seems, can help him. All, however, is not as it seems…

Writer-director Keir O’Donnell is clearly aiming for a good-natured Coen-esque caper, but the film initially feels a bit perfunctory; energetic and charming, but Raising Arizona without the yeast. Perhaps its because Baron is so transparently a dupe – Marmalade’s pet name for him is Puppet – that you, like I, might find yourself just waiting for the twist.

Once the backwoods Baby Driver backstory is dispensed with and the twist is revealed, or at least the first one, Marmalade really kicks into gear. O’Donnell has assembled a cast of likeable characters and a gratifying series of payoffs. It’s a lot of fun, once you get the cap off. It’s a twist.

Signature Entertainment presents Marmalade on Digital Platforms 12th February

Author: robertmwallis

Graduate of Royal Holloway and the London Film School. Founder of Of All The Film Sites; formerly Of All The Film Blogs. Formerly Film & TV Editor of The Metropolist and Official Sidekick at A Place to Hang Your Cape. Co-host of The Movie RobCast podcast (formerly Electric Shadows) and member of the Online Film Critics Society.

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