Director: Martin Provost
Year Released: 2013
Black marketer and generally difficult personality Violette Leduc (Emmanuelle Davos) basically stalks literary giant Simone de Beauvoir (Sandrine Kiberlain) and gives her a copy of a book she finished (L'Asphyxie) - by luck Beauvoir finds the work fascinating and hands it off to the right people to get it published. Generally, writers are a curmudgeonly sort and difficult to capture accurately on screen, but Provost finds a bizarre subject in the sexually bewildering and temperamental Leduc: she's attracted to anyone who doesn't find her sexually desirable (this includes Beauvoir and a slew of homosexual men) and turns her desire for rejection into some kind of warped literary art. Davos is excellent as the tormented/confused Leduc and what I personally find compelling is her relationship with Beauvoir and how Beauvoir pushes for Leduc to write about personal things (her attraction to women, her abortion) at the time her own famous (and timeless) The Second Sex was being released, as if Leduc was her own pet project. Noticeably absent: Jean-Paul Sartre, who was probably hanging out in a cafe.