Critics Consensus

Led by an outstanding performance from Emmanuelle Devos, Violette is a rewarding, bracingly honest look at social mores and the literary life.



Total Count: 48


Audience Score

User Ratings: 651
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Movie Info

Violette Leduc, born out of wedlock at the beginning of the 20th century, encountered Simone de Beauvoir in the post-WWII years in St-Germain-des-Prés. The intense relationship between the two women would last their entire lives, a relationship based on the quest for freedom through writing for Violette and for Simone, on the conviction that she held the fate of an extraordinary writer in her hands. (c) Adopt

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Emmanuelle Devos
as Violette Leduc
Sandrine Kiberlain
as Simone de Beauvoir
Olivier Gourmet
as Jacques Guérin
Catherine Hiegel
as Berthe Dehous
Olivier Py
as Maurice Sachs
Stanley Weber
as Le jeune maçon
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News & Interviews for Violette

Critic Reviews for Violette

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (22)

  • She [Emmanuelle Devos] gives a tremendous performance, somehow managing to turn an emotion as ugly as self-loathing into something beautiful to behold.

    Dec 3, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • [Leduc] remains a small and rather irritating sideshow to the more powerful St Germain crowd, and the focus on her life is surprisingly dull.

    Oct 3, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Oct 2, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A deeply satisfying combination of fascinating subject, ace performers and refined directorial sensibility.

    Oct 2, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • "Violette" demonstrates how suffering produces great art, and that the artist isn't the only one who suffers for it.

    Aug 21, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jul 18, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Violette

  • Jul 09, 2014
    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.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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