Violet & Daisy

2013

Violet & Daisy

Critics Consensus

Arch and too cute by half, Violet & Daisy cycles through too many bad ideas to make use of Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan's combined talents.

23%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 52

34%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,031
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Movie Info

Violet (Alexis Bledel) and Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) are a pair of gum-chomping, gun-toting teenage assassins who casually snuff out crime figures in New York City, bothered only by the fact that a concert by their favorite pop idol Barbie Sunday has suddenly been canceled. Determined to raise cash for some Barbie Sunday dresses, the duo takes on a new hit, only to discover a kind of reckoning in the form of sad-sack shut-in (James Gandolfini) who is dying alone in his apartment of terminal cancer. He persuades the duo to kill him out of mercy, prompting an odyssey of self-examination that catapults the junior enforcers into a world beyond Barbie Sunday and bullets for pay. From Geoffrey Fletcher, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of PRECIOUS comes a mesmerizing hybrid of New York City crime fable and existential coming-of-age drama in which teenage kicks match wits with adult-world turmoil, placing three wounded souls into a line of fire none expected - themselves.-- (C) Cinedigm

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Critic Reviews for Violet & Daisy

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (18)

  • A thriller that might as well have been released in 1996, when everybody and their brother and their sister and their cousin twice-removed was trying to be Quentin Tarantino ...

    Jun 11, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Of course, the violence is cringe-worthy and, at times, over the top. But view this as a modern comic book/fairy tale, and it's easier to accept this saga of girls with guns and the life lessons they eventually confront.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The film's subtle visual allure is all but stamped out by the impression that the director tries too hard to be an idiosyncratic auteur in the vein of Quentin Tarantino.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Violet and Daisy are just violent and crazy - which is, ultimately, the real problem. And why we should care about them remains the one mystery no one here can quite unravel.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A rather dull affair.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • We don't feel the weight and menace of death, nor the volatile emotions of youth, and have nothing to respond to beyond the spectacle of girls with guns.

    Jun 6, 2013 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Violet & Daisy

  • Jul 10, 2015
    Violet(Alexis Bledel) and Daisy(Saoirse Ronan) are a pair of teen hitpeople who after their latest job just plan to kick back and relax. But the release of dresses from their favorite designer means they need cash quickly and that means another job. At least, Russ(Danny Trejo), their handler, promises killing their next target(James Gandolfini) will be a cake walk. "Violet and Daisy" is a playfully morbid movie that also manages to put life and death into proper perspective. It is also affectionate at times, albeit in the most oddball way possible. That's in service of pointing out that you should never take anyone or anything for granted, as life is just full of surprises. For example, I may never be able to watch "Gilmore Girls" quite the same way ever again.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2014
    Young. Innocent. Deadly. Good Movie! Although we appreciated the film, I had trouble understanding to whom exactly the target audience would be for the film upon its release. It is too violent to be marketed to the younger crowd. And it has too many comic book type elements to appeal to an older demographic that might have a hard time understanding how and why so many genres intertwine throughout the story. We ourselves loved the film. We were able to extract the humour and the violence separately and enjoyed the overall story. The two leads were innocently conflicted and their views and impressions on life and their past were engrossing tales that connected audiences with their characters. Violet & Daisy might not be the film that everyone wants it to be, expects it to be or maybe even should be, but it was an enjoyable hit man comedy that can take its place amongst the In Bruges of the film world. Two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until an unexpected target throws them off their plan.
    Manu G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2013
    The idea of "Violet & Daisy" was likely much more interesting than the execution. The idea of two young girls, interested in lollipops and pop singers, doubling as assassins is quite the tale. But as most of the film takes place in one living room and the actresses aren't totally allowed to shine, the entire film falls flat. As touched on by most reviews that I've read, had Quentin Tarantino taken hold of this concept, the result would have been much more grand. But instead, Geoffrey S. Fletcher, a first-time director, takes the reigns. You know his name as being the Academy Award winning writer of the screenplay "Precious" and in all honesty, the screenplay for "Violet & Daisy" is not a poorly written script. It's simply a retread of many other ideas that are just not brought to the screen properly. Loving the work of both Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan, their innocent yet volatile personas as Violet and Daisy are great turns for them; once in a lifetime roles that are fun but do very little for their careers. With them, we also get one of James Gandolfini's final performances, which strangely rings true to life, as his character suffers from an illness that will kill him. Instead, he takes matters into his own hands and gets on the radar of some bad people in order to get these two assassins to show up and kill him instead. The dialogue and character development are as ridiculous as the premise of the film, but somehow it all comes off with the most serious tone. But instead of this helping the film, it continues a strange middle ground between Tarantino and warped fairy tale that simply doesn't work for a feature film. Had this been a short, the darkness of the comedy could have been endured, but the entire feature brings to mind recent satires, for example "God Bless America". Despite dropping the ball as an interesting narrative, "Violet & Daisy" does allow us to enjoy Gandolfini for one of the very last times in film and for that I am grateful. With such an enormous career, even a small film like this gives us just a little bit more time with him.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2013
    "Hanna 2: Back in Action"! Jokes aside, if you want someone to play a teenaged assassin in a surrealistic action film, then it would appear as though your best bet is Saoirse Ronan... and Alexis Bledel, apparently. Maybe slasher films should take some casting notes, because Bledel is in her 30s now, and you can still buy her as the contemporary of an 18-year-old... or 17-year-old... or however old Ronan was when they made this film. Man, it took them forever to release this, although I doubt anyone will notice the almost two-year delay, because Ronan is 19 now and still looks the same as she has for a while now, and Bledel certainly isn't going to age anytime soon. Shoot, with all of my talk of Bledel and Ronan not seeming to age beyond their teen years, this is starting to sound less like a sequel to "Hanna" and more like a sequel to "Tuck Everlasting", but make no mistake people, this is film indeed about teenagers who do some sorry deeds to be so "precious", as Geoffrey S. Fletcher has experience dealing with films like those. As if his writing wasn't unsubtle enough, Fletcher is now a director who can milk his questionable visions for all their worth himself, but hey, I'll at least give the man credit for diversity, because with "Precious", he helped made quite the film about black people problems, and for his directorial debut, he makes quite the film for white people. This film is so white that the first and, for almost two years, only audience to see it was in Canada, and plus, it earns some Mexican points to get further away from the black audience just by having Danny Trejo present, so you know that this is going to be one over-the-top action flick to show that not everything at a major film festival in a country that has prominent French-speaking areas is sophisticated... and immune to criticism, as I'd imagine some people would say that there's a reason why it took them so long to release this film, which is fine and all, but most definitely not without some problems. The refreshing elements of this film are undercut in a lot of ways by a considerable lack of exposition that not only keeps you from bonding with the material as much as you probably should, but thins out a sense of motivation and, with it, focus, thus leaving storytelling to slip into aimlessness, and characterization to dip its toes into inconsistency. Limitations in the fleshing out of character layers leave certain characterization shifts to jar, rather than flow with the currents of exposition, and yet, arguably most of the characterization layers keep consistent in obnoxiousness, if not unlikability that paints some problematic key figures in this somewhat character-driven thriller, even if such unlikability is thematic. The often inorganic layering of characterization also betrays such key themes as the one dealing with juvenility clashing with harshly adult situations, and such a blow to thematic depth waters down intrigue enough to further draw your attention to the other limitations, or at least the questionability of this narrative. I suppose this story is unique and well-handled enough to be intriguing, but there's still a good bit of, of all things, silliness, which holes in exposition make all the more glaring, not unlike other missteps in Geoffrey S. Fletcher's script, whose fall-flat moments in dialogue and humor further cheese things up, especially when backed by some serious lapses in subtlety. This film doesn't exactly carry the dramatic seriousness of "Precious", but Fletcher's written mishaps in subtlety remain problematic, and let me tell you, Fletcher's debut directorial performance doesn't soften blows to subtlety, turning in overbearing imagery, much of which is surrealistic to the point of distancing overstylization that drives inconsistencies into a generally traditionalist, if hole-filled plot structure. If nothing else, all of the overstylization to Fletcher's direction reflects ambition, which is understandable, but in turn reflects limitations in potential, in addition to other shortcomings, of which there are not just many, but enough to drive a less inspired effort into mediocrity. With all of its flaws, this is a very sensitive effort, yet in the end, mediocrity is overpowered by inspiration, - however limited it may be - which can even be found within the drawing of the basic story concept. This story concept may be filled with holes and inconsistencies, as well as subtlety issues, but there's no taking uniqueness from this film, which isn't substantially new, but most certain refreshing as a dark comedy and offbeat coming-of-age drama, with interesting depths and themes that Geoffrey S. Fletcher's script often undercuts with developmental and subtlety problems, but just as often does justice to this subject matter with some sharp moments in dialogue and humor, as well as colorful set pieces. To tell you the truth, the film starts out kind of weak, and it's not like there aren't weak moments here and there throughout the final product's body, but once that body is reached, storytelling becomes about as realized as it can be with all of the natural and consequential shortcomings, at least on paper, and that does a lot to save the film, though not without the help of some directorial inspiration. Fletcher, as director, makes a lot of mistakes, but stylistically does better than plenty of first-time directors, delivering on fine plays with a lively soundtrack and outstandingly stylish shooting and editing in order to sustain entertainment value and provide a perk to, for thematic purposes, intentionally contradict with surrealistic and disturbing imagery that may often be too force or unsubtle to be effective, but engages on the whole. Of course, what might be the most engaging directorial element is the action, whose tight staging and dynamic choreography, backed by a biting attention to violence, thrills on both a visceral level and, to a certain extent, consequential level. At the very least, the film is stylistically outstanding, with some decent substance that is stronger in concept than it is in execution, but is still interpreted well enough to keep the final product from slipping too deeply into mediocrity, from which the effort is safely secured by the strength I was most hoping to see out of a film this driven by such a talented cast. Just about everyone delivers in this talented, but relatively small cast, yet it's all about the leads, and, boy, in spite of limitations in acting material, they really deliver, with James Gandolfini proving to be charming as a decent-seeming, deeply flawed man questioning many aspects of his life, including its worthiness, while the adorable dynamic duo of Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel both share static chemistry, and prove to be more charming than Fletcher's obnoxious and undercooked material as spry teens with disturbing demons that are most sold when effective dramatic beats kick in. The more film unravels, the more it becomes kind of a moving, and while we can thank highlights in Fletcher's direction for setting up emotional resonance, it's Gandolfini, Bledel and Ronan who anchor it, maybe not to where they carry the final product too terribly far, but decidedly to where they rank among the greatest of many strengths that save the final product as decent, in spite of some glaring missteps. When it's all said and done, a lack of development thins out both focus and consistency in sometimes obnoxious characterization, while reflecting natural shortcomings to this thin and somewhat silly premise about as much as glaring subtlety issues and overstylizing that place serious threats on the final product's decency, ultimately secured by a refreshing and intriguing story concept's being done enough justice by sharp moments in writing, directorial style and action, and consistently strong lead performances from Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini that ultimately make "Violet & Daisy" a reasonably entertaining and sometimes moving dark comedy-drama, even with lost potential. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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