Violet and Daisy film review

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Review: Violet & Daisy
By Fred Topel

June 7, 2013

This is a repost from Sept’ 2011

Geoffrey Fletcher, screenwriter and Oscar winner for ‘Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,’ makes his directorial debut from his own script for ‘Violet & Daisy.’ He puts a unique twist on the talking hit man indie movie, and I hope playing at the Toronto International Film Festival will get the film distributed soon.

Violet (Alexis Bledel) is a little bit older and wiser than her partner Daisy (Saoirse Ronan). They’re both very young girls with guns who go on shooting missions. Their latest target (James Gandolfini) makes it hard for them to finish the job, because he’s so kind and cooperative.

Obviously the action isn’t John Woo. This is an indie film, but the gunfights are cool.

Ronan and Bledel look great double fisting their pistols, and Fletcher makes each gunshot interesting with a specific action like blowing bubble gum or shooting behind her back. He sets up some good poses in front of the camera too, like two soft focus guns framing a subject in the middle.

The twist is that these aren’t young girls as mature, grown-up killers. They’re still childlike and whimsical. Their threats are still childish teasing. Daisy doesn’t quite understand all the violence, particularly when rape is a possibility. When they fall asleep on the job, it’s sweet and peaceful juxtaposed with the guns in their hands. Their internal bleeding dance is just like little girls jumping on the bed.

Definitely a lighter movie than Precious, Fletcher shows he has his own voice that can be fun and still substantial. Never heavy handed, Fletcher still has a delicate touch when he deals with Violet, Daisy and their mark’s issues.

These are great roles for the leads. Bledel conveys the wisdom beyond her years and the sensitivity the pressure puts on her. Ronan is not playing Hanna. She can handle her weapons and still show her range, that this is the sweet and innocent killer. Gandolfini is utterly sympathetic. He’s kind and fatherly, with a softer voice than Tony Soprano too.

Violet & Daisy is a fine debut feature. It was refreshingly fun at a festival filled with films in contention for awards, and will be a crowd pleaser when it comes out in theaters.

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