‘Marmalade’ Review — Joe Keery Headlines a Twisty and Darkly Comic Thriller

The Massive Image

  • Marmalade
    is a shocking and sophisticated romantic comedy thriller with twisty plot developments.
  • Joe Keery delivers a standout efficiency because the dim Southern mailman on the heart of the movie.
  • Camila Morrone and Aldis Hodge additionally shine of their roles, and first-time director Keir O’Donnell expertly handles the surprises.

Marmalade begins off because the umpteenth variation on Bonnie and Clyde — a Southern-fried true romance about two chaotic younger lovers (Joe Keery‘s extremely dumb mailman and Camila Morrone‘s fiery free spit) who determine to rob a financial institution. Then, the movie’s plot shifts and darkens when it turns into clear that Marrone is not taking part in a crime-happy Manic Pixie Dream Woman, however fairly a personality who is much extra diabolical than she first seems. That was after I began to heat as much as Marmalade‘s extra subversive intentions. And THEN the film’s story shifts once more, bending in ways in which had appeared inconceivable simply 60 minutes prior. Swiftly, we’re not in Bonnie and Clyde land anymore; we’re in Plot Twist City. And I feel I type of cherished it?!

However as with all motion pictures that pile on twist after twist till it feels such as you’re watching a story high-wire act, I used to be additionally left with a couple of questions — ones that I can not start to handle on this assessment lest I spoil the enjoyable for everybody else watching. Let’s simply say that Marmalade isn’t the film you suppose it’ll be, and its final vital destiny will in all probability depend on how nicely these questions get answered upon repeated viewings. However so far as that first-time watch goes? Effectively, it is laborious to dispute that this movie is a heck of plenty of enjoyable and a formidable first directorial characteristic from actor Keir O’Donnell.


Follows a person in jail who narrates the colourful story of a romantic financial institution heist to his crafty cellmate to flee and reunite with the alluring love of his life.

Launch Date
February 8, 2024

Keir O’Donnell

99 minutes

Most important Style

What Is ‘Marmalade’ About?

In Marmalade, Keery performs a small-town fool named Baron, who’s described by a neighborhood as “dumber than a field of crayons.” He delivers mail whereas driving his bicycle however will get fired from his post-office job for not chopping his lengthy, shaggy head of hair. His life revolves round caring for his ailing mom, who’s terribly sick and solely hanging on because of some dear meds that maintain getting pricier. Baron can also be lonely … which is why he is instantly smitten when Morrone’s Marmalade enters his life. A horny, red-haired firebrand who appears means too into Baron, Marmalade instantly entangles herself into Baron’s life. She’s the lady of his goals, a task she is wholeheartedly prepared to fill. Finally, although, Marmalade additionally proves to be a petty thief and liar, and when Baron can now not afford to purchase the capsules his mom desperately wants, she’s a bit too fast to counsel a financial institution theft.

Okay, so this is one plot level I can provide away: The story I simply advised you can also be a narrative Baron himself tells within the film. See, the film is constructed round a time-shifting framing system, one the place Baron has already been arrested for a theft gone sideways and is sitting in jail with Otis, a cell-mate performed by Aldis Hodge. Otis is a infamous escape artist, and Baron is telling this story to persuade him to bust them each out in order that Baron can reunite together with his one real love. There are additionally a whole lot of 1000’s of stolen financial institution {dollars} nonetheless on the market, which entices Otis much more. So, in its first half, Marmalade affords up a narrative inside a narrative that is largely depending on how the narrator (on this case, Baron) tells it. This results in enjoyable little visible gags, like sure scenes rewinding after which taking part in out otherwise as Baron clarifies issues that Otis initially misunderstands. It additionally signifies that the viewer ultimately finds themselves monitoring two tales: Baron and Marmalade’s doomed financial institution theft and Baron and Otis’ deliberate jail escape. Let’s simply say neither of these items performs out such as you may anticipate them to.

Joe Keery Finds Himself a Second Star-Making Position in ‘Marmalade’

Picture by way of Signature Leisure

Marmalade is certainly a type of motion pictures that’s finest loved entering into fully blind. So you understand what? I am simply going to cease speaking concerning the film’s story and begin speaking about Joe Keery as an alternative. Over the course of Stranger Things‘ 4 seasons, it has been enjoyable to observe Keery’s Steve Harrington evolve from the “stereotypical standard jock” into the present’s finest and most well-rounded character. However so many younger actors hit a wall as soon as they begin to cross over into grownup roles and try to department out past the venture that made them a star. Whereas Millie Bobby Brownjoined the MonsterVerse and launched a second Netflix franchise, and Finn Wolfhard jumped into another ’80s-related juggernaut whereas additionally dabbling in behind-the-camera work, Keery has chosen a extra fascinating path as an actor. His rapid pre-Marmalade movie credit embody an Italian interval drama (Finalmente l’alba), a Ryan Reynolds unique IP blockbuster (Free Guy), and a tiny black-comedy/horror movie (Spree). Extra notably, he lately turned up in the fifth season of Noah Hawley‘s Fargo, taking part in a racist, faux-tough-guy younger cop who’s actually simply determined to please his overly corrupt father. That role showed off Keery’s expanding range, and he impressively held his personal in a forged that was stacked with the likes of Jon Hamm, Juno Temple, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Marmalade looks like an excellent subsequent step after Fargo, as he is again on the heart of the stage right here. For some time, Baron looks like a cartoon character that Keery inhabits with ease. He adopts a lazy Southern drawl to sketch out a city fool who’s pure of soul however makes Steve Harrington appear to be a Mensa member. You actually really feel unhealthy for the man as soon as Marmalade begins twisting the hooks she’s received in him. However, once more, there’s a lot extra to this story that might be prison for me to speak about right here, and, because the film progresses, Keery begins attending to hit another notes that he handles simply as nicely. By the point the credit roll, it seems such as you simply bore witness to Keery’s second breakout efficiency. He additionally advantages from two good supporting turns. Morrone delivers loud blasts of intercourse and sin in equal measure. In the meantime, Hodge will get to sort out a task that additionally proves to be extra layered than it first seems, and he finally ends up hilariously delivering a few of the movie’s extra overtly comedian bits.

This feels a bit like a “calling card” film for O’Donnell, a personality actor who remains to be in all probability most recognized for enjoying Rachel McAdams‘ bizarre brother in Wedding Crashers. O’Donnell wrote the flashy script for Marmalade along with directing, and it is not disingenuous to match what he is doing right here to what M. Night Shyamalan did with The Sixth Sense or Christopher McQuarrie with The Usual Suspects. It is a film that begins off easy sufficient however finally ends up having plenty of shifting components. O’Donnell is deftly capable of maintain Marmalade on the tracks, even when it takes some sudden, jolting turns (of each the narrative and tonal varieties) that may derail a much less competently run manufacturing. It is also a great-looking film with a shiny and colourful model. I do not anticipate it’ll take lengthy for him to lock down funding for his second characteristic.

Another larger movies with tales which can be twist-heavy, together with Argylle and I.S.S., have dropped into theaters this 12 months however discovered little viewers enthusiasm. Marmalade doesn’t benefit the identical destiny. It is a film that deserves to be found, to be really useful to buddies, and to develop a cult following that lingers on. It is simply an excessive amount of enjoyable to accept much less.

Marmalade Film Poster



Marmalade is a twisty and darkly comedian thriller that deserves to be found with one other star flip from Joe Keery.


  • What appears to be like like one other Bonnie and Clyde replace seems to be one thing way more advanced and intriguing.
  • Joe Keery provides a standout lead efficiency, persevering with the fascinating work he is executed within the wake of Stranger Issues.
  • Camila Morrone and Aldis Hodge spherical out a sport forged, and first-time author/director Keir O’Donnell doles out the surprises in a successful vogue.

  • It is in all probability going to take a second viewing to find out if the story actually hangs collectively.


Marmalade releases in theaters and on demand February 9 within the U.S.

Watch on VOD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *