Back to IndieWire

‘Violette’ by Martin Provost

'Violette' by Martin Provost

Violette
, in French, subtitled in English, follows the strange and compelling story from the World War II years through the 1960s of trailblazing bisexual French
feminist novelist Violette Leduc (Emmanuelle Devos, Kings and Queen) and her struggle to find her voice as a writer. Scarred by both a
childhood trauma and a loveless marriage, as an adult, she became rather crazy.

Here Violette finds a complex and difficult mentor in her friend and benefactress, Simone de Beauvoir (Sandrine Kiberlain), and gains entry to a world of
literary giants after a very difficult literary passage.

A parade of great French writers from Camus to Genet is brought to life by a magnificent ensemble cast.

Director Martin Provost (Séraphine, winner of 7 César Awards) vividly and unsentimentally recreates the heady intellectual
atmosphere of Paris from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Devos gives one of the most impassioned, over the top crazy (i.e., good!!) performances of her lauded career in the title role, portraying an
uncompromising, though totally confused, female artist’s journey from darkness, confusion, weirdness to light and finally literary success.

Devos won her first César Award for her performance as partially deaf Carla in Jacques Audiard‘s Read My Lips and
her second César for Xavier Giannoli’s In the Beginning. She has been praised for many other performances including Arnaud Desplechins A Christmas Tale, Alain ResnaisWild Grass and Audiard’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped. She will soon begin filming Neil LaBute’s The Geography of Hope alongside Vera Farmiga, Ethan Hawke

and Ed Harris.


Sandrine Kiberlain is perfect as the famously severe Simone de Beauvoir who is Violette’s instructress and mentor.

Sandrine Kiberlain, fresh off her Best Actress win at the 2014 Cesar Awards for 9 Month Stretch, is one of France’s most respected
actresses, and has appeared in over fifty films including Alain Resnais’ final film Life of Riley, as well as with top French directors
such as Jacques Audiard (A Self-Made Hero), Benoît Jacquot (Seventh Heaven, La Fausse Suivante de Marivaux) and Claude Miller (Betty Fisher and Other Stories).

With always interesting sets shot in French period grey tones, Violette is a stunning masterwork that casts an interesting, thought provoking spell.

This is an intimate and powerful true story of the relationship between two extraordinary women in an extraordinary time. If, like me, you thought you
“knew” this period, this film will give you much food for thought. It is especially insightful as to the role of French intellectual women and their trials
in this most interesting period of French history.

The film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2013 in Official Selection where it was acquired for U.S. by Adopt Films. Its U.S. premiere will
be at the Los Angeles Film Festival, will open in New York June 13 and in L.A. June 27 followed by its national rollout.

Its international sales agent, Doc & Film has licensed the film to Adopt for U.S., Madman for Australia and New Zealand. Argentina has sold to CDI Films, Brazil Imovision, Canada Métropole Films Distribution, Denmark Camera Film A/S, France Universcine and Diaphana, Germany Kool Filmdistribution, Iceland Heimili Kvikmyndanna – Bio Paradis, Italy Movies Inspired, Netherlands Contact Film, Norway As Fidalgo Film Distribution, Poland Aurora Films, Slovak Republic Film Europe Media Company, Sweden Folkets Bio, Switzerland Xenix Filmdistribution Gmbh, Taiwan Swallow Wings Films Co.,Ltd., U.K. Soda Pictures

This Article is related to: Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , ,