The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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Led by an outstanding performance from Emmanuelle Devos, Violette is a rewarding, bracingly honest look at social mores and the literary life.
All Critics (47)
| Top Critics (20)
| Fresh (40)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (1)
She [Emmanuelle Devos] gives a tremendous performance, somehow managing to turn an emotion as ugly as self-loathing into something beautiful to behold.
For all the chaos and pain, it is weirdly romantic: a glorious tale of wish-fulfilment, confirming that writers really can attain self-validation through the pen.
"Violette" demonstrates how suffering produces great art, and that the artist isn't the only one who suffers for it.
It's a perfect approach to Leduc, whose work is so grounded in the messy, fleshy realities of life, it scandalized critics with its frank treatment of taboo subjects such as lesbianism and incest.
A literate, leisurely and lovely telling of one woman's attempt to find what Virginia Woolf famously called "a room of one's own."
So compelling, even thrilling, in its frank depictions of female sexual voracity, professional egotism and twisted variants on the Electra complex that it's easy to overlook [its] shaggy, uneven plotting.
[Violette] is a nice change in that it focuses on not one, but two women writers who work hard over a period of years to become successful artists (both critically and financially) in their own right.
The film was directed and co-written by Martin Provost, who's clearly drawn to women once called "difficult." He uses their exploits to explore big themes - be it the glory and danger of self-expression, or the sexual politics of culture.
The relationship between two historic literary figures has rarely been so fiercely drawn as it is in Martin Provost's French drama.
... this handsome biographical drama takes on a revered but troubled French artist who came out of poverty and neglect and rose to fame. Violette, however, is more about her mother issues, her anxieties over money...
Emmanuelle Devos stars as volatile feminist writer Violette Leduc in Martin Provost's epic biopic, with Sandrine Kiberlain as her unrequited literary love, Simone de Beauvoir.
Whilst requiring an investment of audience, it is full on without being emotionally draining and is a remarkable character study of a woman coming to terms with herself.
During the occupation, Violette Leduc(Emmanuelle Devos) works in the black market in order to support her and her lackadaisical friend Maurice(Olivier Sy) in the country. That does not come without its risks as she also spends three days in jail while Maurice idles back at the farmhouse they share. While he placates her anger with a composition notebook she uses to write her thoughts, he makes a break for it. The next time she hears about him is in Paris when he is in deeper trouble but she ignores him in favor of a novel by Simone de Beauvoir(Sandrine Kiberlain) about a menage a trois which inspires Violette to write her own book to give to Simone to publish.
"Violette" is a remarkably assured and multi-layered movie. Ironically, it takes its time in recalling the history of somebody who could not stop moving. It definitely helps that Emmanuelle Devos is excellent in portraying such a complex, and at times, difficult person. Violette is also one of several writers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Jean Genet(Jacques Bonnaffe) at this period of time who were challenging the more conservative elements of French society through their writing and personal stories, sort of the French Beats if you will but with feminist voices included. In general, this movie also serves as a valuable reminder of how difficult it is for writers to be recognized in any time period, making encouragement one of the most valuable gifts they can receive.
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