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TIFF Review: Violet Is A Moving, Eccentric Film That Is Elevated By Olivia Munn

Elevated by a stunning performance by Munn, Violet conveys the challenges of living in one’s head in greatly effective, if somewhat tedious, ways.

It’s hard to visualize someone’s nagging anxiety and self-doubt, but Violet, Justine Bateman’s directorial debut (which she also wrote), attempts to do just that by portraying it externally and in very public situations. Starring Olivia Munn in the titular role, Bateman successfully navigates the self-sabotaging voice in Violet’s head that disrupts every facet of her life. Elevated by a stunning performance by Munn, Violet conveys the challenges of living in one’s head in greatly effective, if somewhat tedious, ways.

On the surface, Violet (Munn) seems like she has it all: a great career as a successful and beloved film executive, she works at a well-known firm where the films she’s produced have won awards, she’s got good friends, connections, looks, and money. And yet, Violet’s internal voice (a perfect and insidiously cruel Justin Theroux), which she calls “the committee” in her head, is loud and constantly threatens to derail every single choice. The voice calls her a baby, an idiot, and claims she should take the verbal abuse of others who undermine her, including her boss (Dennis Boutsikaris) and family, because it’s the only way to stay on top and is what she deserves. Being happy is not an option, nor is doing what Violet wants, which is to stop listening to the voice. 

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