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Reviews Counted: 16

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Average Rating: 3.3/5

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During a routine trip to the mall, 15-year-old Jesse's best friend is violently attacked at random. The attackers do not confront or acknowledge Jesse, and Jesse does not engage or pursue the attackers... he simply backs away. Why did this happen? Could Jesse have done more? Did he have an obligation? These are the questions posed by VIOLET, a carefully calibrated character study of the process of coping in the midst of senseless trauma. Jesse's parents and friends all seem to have their own (often destructive) reactions to the incident, but it's the parents of the victim to whom he develops a strange connection. Shot partially on 8-perf 65mm film by acclaimed cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis (Bullhead, The Drop), Bas Devos' meticulously calculated debut is constructed like a series of lush photographs. In each of the film's compositions we see a sophisticated mosaic of loss, the permanence of trauma, and the tumult of youth.

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Critic Reviews for Violet

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

I wound up admiring the movie for its ambition while unsatisfied with its achievement.

May 12, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Van Sant's influence clearly looms large, but Violet acts as more than its own artistic statement.

May 12, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Despite a studied sense of detachment throughout, Devos' feature-length debut is a film of subtle power.

May 11, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The film asks us to grapple with what we don't know, to the degree our patience allows. But there is so much splendor here that you may not mind the emptiness.

May 11, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As a screenwriter - for this picture at least - Devos puts too much stock in his visual style to carry the meaning of a thinly plotted, snail-paced slice-of-life.

May 11, 2017 | Full Review…

The final image, an 8-minute sequence shot, is a wonder to behold and ends the film on a perfect and perfectly poetic note.

Apr 3, 2017 | Full Review…

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