Kicking that pesky voice inside your head, the one that feeds self-doubt and criticism, can be a superhuman task for most. But writer and producer Justine Bateman’s directorial debut “Violet” is a cinematic kick-ass to that very voice, here specifically incarnated by Justin Theroux. The Hollywood industry thriller starring Olivia Munn as a stressed-out executive opens in New York and Los Angeles on October 29 from Relativity Media, followed by a nationwide expansion.
Here’s the official synopsis for the film: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Justine Bateman’s intriguing and immersive debut film follows Violet Calder (Olivia Munn) as she realizes that she can no longer ignore the daily barrage of self-criticisms (voiced by Justin Theroux) that clouds her life. These self-criticisms cause her to make fear-based decisions and hold her back from the kind of professional, personal, and romantic life she knows she wants. Unsure how to live a life free from that self-doubt, like her childhood friend Red (Luke Bracey), Violet realizes she has no choice but to travel the road that is more frightening to her than the fear that holds her back: Doing everything differently.”
From IndieWire’s review out of the SXSW film festival, where “Violet” had its world premiere in March 2021, executive editor Kate Erbland wrote: “First-time feature filmmaker Justine Bateman throws down more than a few traps for her eponymous character in the drama ‘Violet’: She’s has to embody a character whose biggest problems literally play out in her head, while contending with Bateman’s liberal use of poetic on-screen text that doesn’t always seem necessary, and she’s expected to convince us to feel empathy for a pretty, successful Hollywood executive. These aren’t easy asks, but they’re also part of the artifice that Bateman handily chips away at as ‘Violet’ unspools. They also provide star Olivia Munn with the chance to turn in the best work of her career, one only enlivened by the great potential for missteps that Bateman’s thorny script provides. And Justin Theroux, who provides surreal voiceover for the protagonist’s self-doubts, adds an additional terrifying dimension to her conundrum.”
Exclusive to IndieWire, check out the trailer for the film below.