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Violet and Daisy [2011)

Damn…  Damn.  Much more arresting than a discussion of exploding genres.  When a film kicks you in the gut.

Filmmakers study the different reactions which can be elicited through the medium of cinema.

They study their own reactions.  They observe the reactions of those around them.

They build up an arsenal of techniques.

And if the filmmaker hits it just right the effect is devastating.

Director Geoffrey S. Fletcher did just that in this unlikely masterpiece.

From the outset it appears that we are in for a hackneyed Tarantino-aping ride, but it gets better.  Much, much better!

The genre is superviolence.  Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs were merely updates on the Kubrick treatment of A Clockwork Orange.

But the auteur Fletcher explodes the genre (to borrow a metaphor from James Monaco) and makes it do things previously unknown.

The superviolence genre can’t handle the intellect injected into its flippant form in Violet & Daisy (and thus a new genre is born).  The genre evolves.

Saoirse Ronan is magnificent as always, but she has great backup provided by her partner Alexis Bledel.  Yet, the real star of this miracle film is James Gandolfini.

There is no way of knowing what plot-twisting brilliance is afoot when you sit down to view this flick.

The surprise of this film (for me) also hinged on just how good Bledel was in the role of Violet.  Bledel and Ronan have unbelievable chemistry in this strange tightrope of a film.

I am stunned by how good this film was…

One last note:  Gandolfini’s performance here is so convincing that it seems impossible this was anything other than his last film.  What a masterful turn!

See this and be enlighteningly shocked.

-PD

8 responses to “Violet and Daisy [2011)

  1. Dude I am looking for that one. I did not see it yet. Thanks for that one.

  2. In your writings I always love reading phrases like “Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs were merely updates on the Kubrick treatment of A Clockwork Orange”. Phrases that instantly ring true but which seem more true the more I think about them.

    The film sounds fascinating. Like the last review, not my usual genre, so I’m likely to miss things like this.

    • I’ve been a bit hard in Tarantino over the years (though I initially gravitated towards him). I suppose I lament the current generation of French cineastes who idolize him rather than a more timeless giant like Godard (who’s living in their own backyard).

      • You’ve definitely thought more about it than me, so I’ll be circumspect.

        Tarantino strikes me as a good director that’s treated as a great director because he aeons beyond the production line that is the Hollywood system. And I definitely think he’s better than Nolan or Cameron.

        Tarantino annoyed me slightly when he said he said he moved beyond Godard (when asked about the name of his production company), as if it was some adolescent phase. Still, that’s, admittingly, a petty reason not to like someone’s work.

      • Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs impressed me for exactly the reason you mentioned: they’re far superior to the average American movie. I suppose I didn’t get the Kill Bill films because I had no experience with the kung fu genre at the time. They are, however, beautifully made. The one which disappoints me is Inglorious Basterds. Perhaps Tarantino is a genius, but I really don’t “get” that film. Thank you my friend!

        –Paul

      • I admit I lost interest after seeing the first Kill Bill. My own ignorance is always a potential factor.

        Same as you say, I couldn’t see the appeal.

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