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TIFF ’21: Olivia Munn Explores Inner Voice Pollution in Violet

Everyone has a voice in their head.  You know the one that can plant a seed of doubt, pump up your confidence or make you spit out something you quickly regret or wished never tumbled past your lips in the first place.

Maybe you call it your conscience, or “your committee.” Yet, you follow it,  until one day, you realize the decisions this voice has driven you to make have taken you lightyears away from who you really are and the life you’ve always wanted. This is Violet Calder’s reality.  Violet’s voice holds her hostage and leads to her make choices based on fear, even when her gut tells her to take a different direction.

Marking the directorial debut of Emmy Award-nominated writer-director-producer and best-selling author Justine Bateman, Violet’s world is based within the tropes of the Hollywood studio system, which often dismisses women in power.

Most women who are multi-hyphenates spinning a million plates at once will strongly resonate with this film, as well as, those who have families with an unrealistic ideal of what navigating the waters of the film industry really is as opposed to the fantasy.

Olivia Munn is exceptionally gifted while wading through the complex emotions of her character straddling vulnerability with a passive aggressive undercover shadiness whenever she’s feeling disrespected or annoyed. Munn is very understated, yet powerful with every glance, word and action.

Justine Bateman rocks her directorial debut!  How she maneuvers those on-screen graphics mimicking Violet’s voice in her head coupled with red rage screens over the action is so creatively awesome. Lines like, “Night is leaving fingerprints on my skin” or “My skin feels raw and red” places you right inside her brain in a way spoken dialogue can’t communicate.

Not to mention, the fact that she uses the Black Dahlia house as headquarters for Violet’s film production company employer by is pure genius.  That house is notoriously tied to a man whose blatant disrespect and disregard for women is recognized worldwide.  Not sure if this was intentional, but man what a brilliant location choice.  Especially since her employer/former lover was such a tool.

Music by Vum only enhances the plot and the use of various images of violet smoke floating around the end credits begs the question posed to the audience at the end of the film, “…then what”.

Violet is the best cinematic psyche trip you ever wanna take and an ode to women everywhere as an empowerment message of knowing when to lean into your power by speaking up and when to lay in the cut keeping your thoughts to yourself.

I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic-Expert, I am an member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association, African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY, RogerEbert.com, Maltin on Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, NPR, Good Day LA, Turner Classic Movies and KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Sundays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live or on Rotten Tomatoes. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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