For the first two hours or so of this absorbing examination of the life and career of Violette Leduc, the mood is as dark and grim as the leaden skies of a Parisian winter. Leduc (Emmanuelle Devos, Just a Sigh) was a 20th-century French feminist author who wrote with savage self-examination and broke new ground for what women could say, though she remained largely in the shadow of more famous colleagues like Sartre and de Beauvoir. As played with ferocious energy by Devos, she is a raging, whining, neurotic, needy bundle of insecurities and self-loathing. But, as her mentor de Beauvoir (Sandrine Kiberlain) observes, she finds her salvation through literature. Not rated. 132 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe. See review.
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