Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Violet and Daisy: Killer Style
two could probably use a serious talking to from Dr. Drew. Despite their very adult job killing people, Violet
and her latest teenaged protégé seem stuck in a permanent state of arrested development. However, their latest assignment might lead
to a bit of growing-up in Geoffrey Fletcher’s Violet & Daisy (trailer here), which opens this Friday in New York.
not whacking gangsters, Daisy and her mentor try to live a Spice World lifestyle.
Although slightly burned out, they accept another assignment from the hardboiled
Russ, because their favorite pop idol has just released a new line of dresses. It
will be a strange gig. For one reason,
their sad sack target seems relieved when they arrive locked-and-loaded.
of Michael’s resignation, the girls do not immediately kill him. Of course, the more they get to know him, the
harder it will be to get the job done, especially for Daisy. A rival hit squad and the boss’s
sniper-minder further complicate matters.
Loyalties will fray and bullets will fly, as V&D coyly subverts gangster genre expectations.
was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay adaptation of Precious, etc, etc, but do not hold that
against V&D. This film builds up quite a body count, but
it is also rather clever and has some real heart. Somehow, he maintains a fable-like vibe,
despite the gritty backdrop and not infrequent on-screen violence. Intriguingly, it can be seen as another dark modern
fairy tale starring Saoirse Ronan as the little lost princess, somewhat
paralleling Neil Jordan’s accomplished Byzantium
and the highly problematic Hanna.
like Fletcher, Ronan deftly walks a fine line, portraying Daisy’s wide-eyed
innocence, without becoming cloying or saccharine. She also develops some nice chemistry with
her co-stars, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini. The latter has some particularly fine moments
as the world weary but still protective Michael, whereas the former comes
across a bit affected at times, looking far less at ease with Fletcher’s genre
defying tone. For added seasoning, first
rate character actors Danny Trejo and Marianne Jean-Baptiste show up in brief
but colorful supporting parts.
V&D is a small film, but for cult cinema fans, it
is a pleasant palate cleanser. Frankly,
it sounds like a terrible concept in every way, but Fletcher largely pulls it
off. Simultaneously violent, wistful,
and amusing, Violet and Daisy is recommended
for fans of Ronan, Gandolfini, and hitman comedies when it opens this Friday
(6/7) in New York at the AMC Empire.
Labels: James Gandolfini, Saoirse Ronan