Violet SXSW Review

March 19, 202180/1005 min
Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, Luke Bracey, Laura San Giacomo
Written by
Justine Bateman
Directed by
Justine Bateman
Run Time
1h 32min
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Violet (Olivia Munn) is a successful executive in the film industry, but you wouldn’t know it if you listened to her. She is plagued by self-doubt as what she calls “the committee” constantly reminding her that she is not good enough. Written and directed by Justine Bateman, Violet shows what self- doubt looks like, something that the audience will surely feel. While Violet looks like she has everything going for her, she is never sure of any decision she makes. It is the unsureness that allows the people in her life to walk over her as she accepts blame for everything, even if it is not her fault.

Success should breed confidence, but in Violet’s case no matter what success she has achieved, she isn’t confident because of something she did. Bateman shows what is both going on the outside as well as in Violet’s head with the voice (Justin Theroux) which constantly puts her down and writing on the screen of are what she wants to do or say, based to what is being told to her. Violet, whose house is under construction, is staying with her friend Red (Luke Bracey), a handsome screenwriter who you can tell wants to be there for Violet if she just would let him be. When Violet has a hard day and wants Red to stay with her, she is told by the voice that it isn’t a good decision even though it’s what she really wants. You can see the conflict that is going on in Violet, but it is Munn who portrays it, bringing you in and making you feel what she feels. Being a woman in business, no matter what the industry is an uphill battle already. Men always have an edge and if you do succeed, it is often thought that your success wasn’t earned but given. Violet is in that situation as her boss Tom (Dennis Boutsikaris) makes her believe he is the only reason she has success, even though it is the other way around. Bateman choose to have the “voice” a man to help empathize how woman are devalued by society as well as using color to represent both self-confidence and anger.

The biggest strength of Violet is that it not only helps you see what it is like to be in this position, but also it makes you feel it as well. The way Bateman decided to show Violet’s thoughts in highly effective and will leave you thinking about what you see in your own life. For me it left me looking in the mirror as I know what that self-doubt can feel like. Violet is unlike anything you have seen before and it is sure to incite different reactions to those who sees it. My own reaction was amazement and hope that this will inspire others to achieve their worth.

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