Marmalade (2024)

Comedy, Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Joe Keery, Camila Morrone, Aldis Hodge, Wayne Duvall
Baron (Keery), a sweet-natured but simple-minded small-town boy is incarcerated. Upon learning that his new cellmate, Otis (Hodge), has an extensive rap sheet including several prison breaks, Baron implores him to help him escape. He states that he needs to get out so that he can meet his girlfriend at an undisclosed spot the following afternoon. Otis is reluctant, stating that he doesn't trust anyone "not even [his] own damn self", however Baron promises him $250,000 cash if they are able to escape successfully. Otis agrees to carry out the prison break, but asks how Baron has that much money. Baron begins to tell the story of how he landed in prison.Some time prior to his arrest, Baron is let go from his job at the local post office, which he needs to support his terminally ill mother, Eda, due to his refusal to cut his long hair. Upon returning home, he finds a letter in the mailbox, stating that his mother's medication has increased in price. He informs her of this as he gives her her pills and feeds her a Moon Pie. Despondent, he goes to a local park, where he throws himself to the ground in frustration. A car, driven by an eccentric stranger with pink hair (Morrone), pulls up. The woman states that she thought she'd "stumbled on a dead body" and expresses disappointment that Baron is, in fact, alive. She asks Baron if there's anything to do in this "shit town", to which he responds that there isn't. She speeds away, but circles back when she sees him smashing a tree branch against the swing set. She teases him for "flailing around like a puppet", and he tells her that there are, in fact, things to do in town, including a quarry and an ice cream shop. She introduces herself as Marmalade, and asks him to show her around town.At the quarry, Marmalade and Baron exchange life stories. She tells him that she has been in the foster care system her entire life and he tells her about his mother's sickness. He also tells her that he grew up believing his father was an astronaut who was absent from his childhood because he was building a rocket and who died when said rocket exploded. Marmalade is amused by his naivety, and asks if she can stay with him that night. He takes her home, and the two immediately fall into an intense whirlwind romance.With a lack of income to the home, Baron and Marmalade begin to brainstorm about ways to afford Eda's medication. He suggests that they should rent out the unused bedroom, but Marmalade convinces him that they should rob a bank instead. They construct an elaborate plan to do so, including selecting a bank a couple of towns over with less foot traffic and locating a cabin in the woods to use as a safe house. They each get a tattoo on their ankles. Marmalade's is a heart with Baron's name in it, and Baron's is a jar of marmalade, intended to have her name on the label, however, the tattooist misspells it, missing the 'r', and so they alter it to say Mama instead, in honor of Eda. During this planning process, Baron notices that some of his mother's pills appear to have vanished. He also asks Marmalade to tell him why she no longer speaks to her biological mother. She initially avoids answering, but eventually reveals that she blames her biological mother for "not saving [her]" from one of her first foster fathers, whom she implies was sexually abusive and states he had a habit of locking his foster children in dog cages in his garage and prodding them with his white cane. She expresses that she wishes she'd killed him when she had the chance, and says that she's heard he still fosters kids. Baron comforts her, reminding her that she'd called him her "knight in shining armor" and her protector.Later, the two go to a store to purchase disguises for the heist. Marmalade selects two masks which Baron states they cannot afford, however, Marmalade pulls out a gun and pistol-whips the store's cashier. She attempts to rob the cash register, however is unable to open it and the pair flee. Baron, seemingly shaken from the incident, tells Marmalade that he has some baseball cards he can sell and they need not rob the bank, but she insists that they should do so the next day. That night, Eda has a coughing fit which Marmalade insists on attending to. When she screams, Baron rushes to help and finds his mother deceased in her bed. Marmalade insists she does not know what happened, and states that she left the room and then returned to find Eda dead.In the present day in prison, Otis extends his condolences to a teary-eyed Baron. He states that his mother has also been sick for his whole life, and that he is actually unsure whether or not she's alive. When Baron asks why they don't talk, Otis informs him that his mother lives in her childhood home of Kingston, Jamaica and that their "shit is complicated". Shortly after, they are summoned to the prison dining hall, where other inmates target Baron by stealing his food and pushing his face into his tray. Baron informs another inmate that he "has something in his braid", which prompts the other man to attempt to hit him. However, Otis intervenes and a riot breaks out in the dining hall. For his part in inciting it, Otis is handcuffed and escorted out of the room by a prison guard.Out of sight and earshot of the other inmates, it is revealed that Otis is not an incarcerated criminal at all. He is, in fact, an undercover FBI agent, working a case to catch a serial bank robber believed to be Marmalade. He was assigned as Baron's "cellmate" in hopes of manipulating him into revealing Marmalade's whereabouts so that she can finally be caught and arrested for her string of crimes. However, as Baron has not yet shared the location of he and Marmalade's meeting spot, Otis suggests that the investigative team allow him to stage a fake escape for the two of them, so that he will inadvertently lead the FBI directly to her. Although some other officers are hesitant about this, it is agreed that this plan will be put into operation. Otis returns to his and Baron's cell, where Baron continues telling his story.Upon his mother's passing, Baron once more attempts to back out of the robbery, as he had only ever agreed to it to afford her medication. However, Marmalade reveals that she is pregnant and insists they go ahead with the plan in order to establish a better life for themselves and their baby. Baron relents, although he refuses to go inside the bank and insists on only being the getaway driver. The next day, they carry out the heist and go to their safe house cabin. Baron expresses that they stole significantly more money than he anticipated and questions Marmalade on how she knows so much about banks and how to rob them. She reveals that she has robbed a number of banks in the past but that those occasions were always "chump change". She says that she had intended to quit robbing banks before meeting Baron, however decided to do one last job in order to start a good life with him. Baron becomes overwhelmed and leaves the room, however they quickly make up when Marmalade approaches him and reminds him that it's just the two of them (and, as an afterthought, their baby) "against the whole wide world". Later, she asks Baron to fetch the masks from the car so that they can burn them. While retrieving the masks, Baron finds a bottle of his mother's pills hidden in Marmalade's car, revealing that she is the one who took them and, consequentially, caused Eda's death. Enraged, Baron goes back into the cabin with the gun that Marmalade used to rob the bank and points it at her, demanding to know why she had the medication. She insists that she was "holding onto them in case of an emergency" and that she forgot that she had them in the car. During the confrontation, the police arrive and surround the cabin. Baron panics, insisting that they hand themselves over and apologise, but Marmalade instead convinces him to "split the money and run", and meet up with her again at 3:30 the following day at "that spot [they] like". Baron agrees and Marmalade flees. Baron hands himself over to the police as soon as she has left.In prison, Otis tells Baron that he will help him escape. Baron makes a phone call, ostensibly to Marmalade, where he tells her that he will meet her at the spot at 3:30 as arranged. They put their plan into motion the next day, with Otis disguising himself as a laundry attendant and Baron hiding inside a basket of towels and bedlinens. The plan is for both of them to leave under the guise of transporting dirty laundry out of the prison, however Otis is stopped by a guard who does not know he is an undercover agent. He wheels the basket containing Baron outside, but is apprehended himself until his fellow FBI officers intervene. Baron escapes in the designated getaway car, and Otis and the other FBI agents track him in a different vehicle. They follow him to a florist, where he purchases a bouquet and then to a cemetery where he leaves the flowers on what they believe to be his mother's grave. They then follow him to an ice cream shop, which Otis believes is likely to be his meeting spot with Marmalade, as the pair often ate ice cream together. When the getaway car pulls out of the parking lot, the FBI pursue. However, when they finally pull the car over, they discover the driver is not Baron or Marmalade, but an employee from the ice cream shop who reveals that Baron had told him he could keep the car if he drove it around the block and caused a distraction.Baron has driven back to the cabin in a different car that was visible in the ice cream shop parking lot. He retrieves the bag of money from inside the chimney, as well as newspaper clippings about the previous bank robberies, including one which reveals the FBI's involvement in solving them, featuring a picture of Otis as one of the agents on the case. Baron then goes to the bathroom and begins cutting his hair off in the mirror. He puts on a dress and a blonde wig and manages to escape town and evade capture disguised as a woman. Meanwhile Otis, releasing that Baron is not the bumbling idiot he seems to be, goes back to cemetery to investigate the grave that Baron had visited. He finds that it does not belong to Eda and that Baron did not leave a bouquet there, but a jar of marmalade with Mama written on the label - like his tattoo. Otis demands to see the security photos from the bank again and realizes that the bank robber has that very same tattoo. It is revealed that Marmalade never existed, and that this robbery (and the others) were carried out by Baron in drag.Out of town and in a new outfit, Baron walks into a pharmacy to collect a large order of Pleonexia, the medication he said was keeping his mother alive, under the name Lamram. The pharmacist states that Baron has bought out his whole supply, and Baron states that the medication is for his foster mom. He places a bottle in front of a mirror revealing that his foster mother's name - Eda Lamram - is 'marmalade' backwards.In pursuit of Baron, Otis and his coworkers trace the call he made from prison to a drug production company named Baron Pharmaceuticals (implying Baron is a pseudonym) and are confronted by the company CEO, Don Frankels, who reveals that the money stolen in the bank robbery was from his account. Otis notices that Frankels walks with a white cane and recalls the detail in Baron's story about "Marmalade" being abused by an early foster father. He asks Frankels if he fosters children, which he confirms that he does so that he can "take a bunch of junkie rejects and turn 'em into something". Otis has a team of officers investigate Frankels' home address, where they find three dog cages inside a garage and a jar of marmalade outside the door. Realising that this part of the story was true and Baron was likely one of the children abused, Otis has Frankels arrested. He finds a Moon Pie tucked into the wing mirror of his car and realises that it is another of Baron's calling cards, and that he must have been nearby recently. He goes to the nearby pharmacy, where the pharmacist reveals that Baron had purchased his pills and left, saying that he was going to buy tickets from the travel agent around the corner. There, Otis is given an envelope and informed that a man had been in shortly before and purchased tickets on his behalf. Inside the envelope, he finds a note from Baron which reads "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. I'm taking care of my mother. I hope you'll do the same. Farewell, Secret Agent." as well as a first class plane ticket to Kingston, Jamaica to visit his mother.Baron pulls into a staff parking space at a nursing home. Upon entering, he approaches the front desk and is immediately recognised by the nurse working there, who hands over a clipboard and keys, revealing that he also works there. He goes room to room, dropping medication off for the residents, until he reaches the room labeled as Eda's. He also replenishes her medication, then enters the room, where he hands Eda a Moon Pie and the two of them stand and look out of the window together.
  • 2024-02-08 Released:
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