Fletcher’s ‘Violet & Daisy’ in limited release today

Today is a big day for Geoffrey Fletcher. It's when his first feature-film directorial effort, "Violet & Daisy," is being released.

Fletcher, who grew up in Waterford, won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay in 2010 for "Precious."

Now, don't go rushing out to your local theater: Fletcher's "Violet & Daisy" isn't opening in southeastern Connecticut - yet. Often, films open in limited release first - in major cities like New York City and Los Angeles - to see how audiences respond and hopefully build word of mouth. The idea is, they'll get a good enough reaction to open wide in later weeks.

Fletcher did, though, screen "Violet & Daisy" in April at Connecticut College - one of several sneak previews at various colleges.

In "Violet & Daisy," which Fletcher wrote and directed, Alexis Bledel and Saoirsie Ronan play teen assassins who take on a job to earn enough money to buy a dress designed by their favorite star. But their latest hit-girl target (James Gandolfini) doesn't have the reaction they expect.

Reviews are beginning to be published and posted, so here are some excerpts:

On the Huffington Post site, critic Marshall Fine writes, "Geoffrey Fletcher's filmmaking debut, 'Violet & Daisy,' is the summer's oddest, most original treat. Imagine a script by Quentin Tarantino, directed by Wes Anderson - and you have an idea of just how deliciously surprising this film can be."

Roger Moore, for McClatchy-Tribune News Service, begins his review: "'Violet & Daisy' plays like a live-action version of a Japanese manga comic. Lurid and bloody, it has elaborate gunplay and kinky-kitschy lollipop-sucking schoolgirls working as assassins to pay for their teen fashions and teen music obsessions. Vintage pop hits underscore their mob hits. And in between jobs, they pause for a game of patty-cake or hopscotch, or gush about the latest fashions worn by their favorite pop idol, Barbie Sunday.

"But this was written and directed by Geoffrey Fletcher, who scripted 'Precious,' so the bizarre blend of Kewpie doll-coltish and 'cult film' is purely American-made. ...

"Fletcher and his players never quite hit on a tone that works. Fantastical dream sequences and side trips to the store to get 'more bullets' never quite rise to the level of wry commentary."

The Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl says, "A somewhat tastier concoction than its list of ingredients might suggest, Geoffrey Fletcher's 'Violet & Daisy' mashes a teen-beauties-too-sensitive-for-their-world drama up with one of those dry comedies about professional killers who have grown blithe about their jobs. Then there are serious trace elements of Stand-Up Guys or any other bittersweet crime flick where those who whack find themselves un-eager to plug their latest victim. But Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan are wholly winning as the white-girl assassins of the title..."

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