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Violet - What We Know So Far

Life is full of choices, but the motivations behind them are not always good-natured. That's a theme writer-director Justine Bateman explores in her directorial debut "Violet." The film tackles something that many viewers can relate to: a controlling inner voice. For Bateman, it felt like the right time to make the film happen. "I wanted to direct since I was 19, but the timing wasn't right; I had to wait for the timing. The timing finally felt right when I was about 50," she told The Playlist in September. Bateman, notably, is no stranger to life in front of the camera — she famously starred on the hit series "Family Ties."

Understandably, her time spent working in all aspects of the entertainment industry helped the writer-director find an outstanding cast for "Violet." The project features Olivia Munn in the title role, and in an interview with Variety, the actress spoke about how filming "Violet" pleasantly differed from her experiences on past projects. "Justine is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, directors that I've worked with so far," Munn told the outlet.

With all this in mind, here's everything you need to know about "Violet."

What is Violet's release date?

"Violet" is set to hit select theaters on October 29. As of this writing, theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and Maricopa are all set to offer screenings of the film, while on-demand options will become available after November 9 (via Relativity Media). There is no information as of yet about where the film will be available to rent, or which streaming services may offer it.

Prior to its limited release, the film made its debut at the 2021 South by Southwest Film Festival. That initial showing led to the project's North American rights being picked up by Relativity Media (via Deadline), with CEO Lex Miron saying the film, "explores deep-rooted motivations and will ignite healthy, spirited conversation between friends, family and colleagues." After its South by Southwest premiere, "Violet" went on to screen at the 2021 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival

The film has so far received mostly positive reviews from critics (via Rotten Tomatoes).

Who is in the cast of Violet?

"Violet" splits its focus between its titular character and her inner voice. Olivia Munn stars in the film as Violet Calder, a movie executive dealing with the lasting impact of many of her fear-based decisions. Early reviews have generally praised Munn's turn in the film, with IndieWire noting that the role gives the actress the "chance to turn in the best work of her career."

Meanwhile, Violet's harsh inner critic is voiced by actor Justin Theroux. Viewers may remember Theroux for his recent turn as Allie Fox on the Apple TV+ drama, "The Mosquito Coast," which was renewed for a second season earlier this year. Speaking with The Wrap, "Violet" director Justine Bateman was quick to praise Theroux's talent, calling him "an incredible writer, director, and an actor."

In addition to Theroux and Munn, the film's cast also includes Laura San Giacomo, Luke Bracey, Zachary Gordon, Jason Dohring, Simon Quarterman, and Dennis Boutsikaris.

What is the plot of Violet?

"Violet" focuses on the life of its titular studio executive. While she's working to gain ground in her industry, the film sees Olivia Munn's Violet dealing with a myriad of issues, including the kinds of fears and uncertainties that many viewers likely encounter in their daily lives. The movie follows Violet as her inner voice pushes her to the edge — leading her to discover what really happens when she stops living in constant fear.

To help bring viewers into Violet's inner world, director Justine Bateman utilizes some interesting stylistic choices in the film. For example, cursive writing that illuminates various different thoughts and feelings appears on the screen throughout the film. Bateman created the cursive writing herself in what she has previously described as a "time-consuming" process (via Observer). 

Meanwhile, images of catastrophic events are repeatedly shown as the film follows Violet's struggle to push through her most difficult moments and decisions. Flickering Myth referred to the technique as a "face-melting montage of traumatic images — a fox decaying into the ground and exploding cars, for two — which recur throughout as a visualisation of Violet's panicked mind."

Now, viewers can look forward to seeing the full scope of Bateman's vision when "Violet" hits theaters and VOD in just a few short days.