Country: France / Belgium
Movie Review: “Violette” has the particularity of being the second biopic about a French female artist directed by Martin Provost. In 2008, naïve-style painter Séraphine de Senlis was depicted in “Séraphine”. Now it’s time for us to know about the flickering literary path, frontal personality, and complex relationships of feminist novelist Violette Leduc (1907-1972), known for writing about sex and abortion as never before, according to the words of her admirer colleague, supporter, and object of desire, Simone de Beauvoir. The latter became Violette’s obsession, in a suffering, loving passion that was never requited, despite the great veneration that these bold and visionary women authors felt for each other. Other famous personalities made part of Violette’s unstable life: cases of writers Maurice Sachs (in a theatrical first section that wasn’t so strong as the following) and Jean Genet, and the rich industrial Jacques Guérin, but was her mother, Berthe, the cause of every emotional instability. In her search for love, acceptance and human contact, Violette ends up more and more isolated – ‘alone in my desert monologue’ as she referred. Despite of the bad start, the film presented appealing images reflecting rigorously the period of time covered (cinematography by Yves Cape), and some of Leduc’s refined poetry excerpts, which was often combined with a disconsolate classical music. Emmanuelle Devos did a great job as Violette, pulling out all those uncontrolled emotional impulses, while Sandrine Kiberlain was also noticeable as Beauvoir, even showing a more unexpressive personality.