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With: Alexis Bledel, Saoirse Ronan, James Gandolfini, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Danny Trejo
Written by: Geoffrey Fletcher
Directed by: Geoffrey Fletcher
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 88
Date: 06/07/2013

Violet & Daisy (2013)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Heavy Petals

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Geoffrey Fletcher, who won an Oscar for his first produced screenplay, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, wrote and makes his directorial debut with Violet & Daisy. The two movies couldn't be more different. Violet & Daisy feels like something out of the 1990s, when first-time filmmakers were either trying to imitate Quentin Tarantino or trying to be "quirky." This movie does both. It can't keep up that kind of energy throughout, especially as it's set mostly in one room, but it's charming enough -- and short enough -- that there are no hard feelings.

Violet (Alexis Bledel) and Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) are partners and friends, and hired contract killers. After their latest job (posing as nuns delivering pizzas), they decide to take a vacation. But when they realize they need money to buy fancy new dresses from the "Barbie Sunday" line, they take another "easy" job. Unfortunately, it turns out to be not so easy. The would-be victim (James Gandolfini) seemingly wants to die; rather than resisting, he offers the girls fresh-baked cookies. Over the course of a long day, the girls must dispatch other assassins, run out for more bullets, and figure out what's really going on with their latest hit.

The wonderful cast, including cult actor Danny Trejo in one scene, and a terrific Marianne Jean-Baptiste as a veteran hitwoman, helps a great deal. They seem up for anything, including the weird girly games that go on throughout, such as spontaneous games of patty-cake. They all have an interesting openness throughout that carries them through the movie's dry spots. Fletcher seems to genuinely like them, and we do too.

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