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The Double Life of Veronique (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1991)

Irene Jacob , Philippe Volter , Krzysztof Kieslowski  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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The Double Life of Veronique (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Decalogue
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Product Details

  • Actors: Irene Jacob, Philippe Volter, Sandrine Dumas, Halina Gryglaszewka, Wladyslaw Kowalski
  • Directors: Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French, Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CGUC10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,115 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Three short documentaries by Kieslowski: Factory (1970), Hospital (1976), and Railway Station (1980)
  • The Musicians (1958), a short film by Kieslowski�s teacher Kazimierz Karabasz
  • Kieslowski�Dialogue (1991), a documentary featuring a candid interview with Kieslowski and rare behind-the-scenes footage from the set of this film
  • 1966�1988: Kieslowski, Polish Filmmaker, a 2005 documentary tracing the director�s work in Poland, from his days as a student through The Double Life of V�ronique
  • Video interviews with actress Ir�ne Jacob, cinematographer S?awomir Idziak, and composer Zbigniew Preisner
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Jonathan Romney and selections from Kieslowski on Kieslowski

  • Editorial Reviews

    This ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition remains one of the most beloved films of Krzysztof Kieslowski (Decalogue, the Three Colors trilogy). Ir�ne Jacob (Red, Othello) is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choral soprano, and her double, V�ronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other, the two women share an enigmatic, purely emotional bond, which Kieslowski details in gorgeous reflections, color, and movement. THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE is an unforgettable symphony of feeling.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    137 of 143 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars "Double Life," twice the beauty February 28, 2004
    Verified Purchase
    One of Krzysztof Kieslowski's finest films is "The Double Life of Veronique" ("La Double vie de Véronique"). It's not just a philosophical, arty film, but a subtle and unique tale full of Kieslowski's directorial magic, and gives Irène Jacob a chance to shine in her most challenging role.
    There are two women, the Polish Weronika and the French Veronique (both played by Irène Jacob). They have never met, never spoken, and do not know that the other exists. They share the same losses and the same health. Weronika is a singer, and Veronique is taking singing lessons. But their lives and souls are bound together, and their personalities are yin-yang opposites, one practical and one a stargazer.
    What is more, each has the strange feeling that she is, somehow, not alone in the world. One night, Weronika dies onstage while singing. Suddenly in France, Veronique is stricken with a strange feeling, and stops taking her lessons. Weronika has died, but she still lives. Soon she begins to explore, searching for the truth about her double life, and a strange puppeteer who somehow is a link between both girls.
    "Double Life of Veronique" is one of those rare films that just begs to be analyzed. Is it about being puppets in some enormous scheme of things? About fate? Sacrifice? Love? One woman's soul in two bodies? Political symbolism? Or is it simply about some mysterious dimension of the spiritual? The symbols and metaphors can be unwound any which way, and in the end they all work. Even the ending is ambiguous -- is it happy, or sad?
    Krzysztof Kieslowski's direction is impeccable. His use of light and shadow, and the atmospheric music, make "Double Life" practically a work of art.
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    37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and haunting movie! July 13, 2000
    By Ed N
    Format:VHS Tape
    The Double Life of Veronique is an absolutely stunning film. The director, whose work includes Decalogue and the superb Three Colors Trilogy (Blue, White, and Red), displays a confident tone in his deliberate pacing and the subtle way in which he establishes the mood of this picture. In Irene Jacob (also the star of Red), he finds the perfect leading lady, who has an innocent yet mysterious and beautiful aura which works so well with the tone of this film.
    There isn't really a plotline in this movie, but in general, it concerns the lives of two women (Veronique and Veronikka, both played by Irene Jacob) born on the same day but in different countries. Though they lead separate lives, there are parallels drawn in their existence, and their paths cross ever so briefly as the story of one woman dissolves into the story of the second. There is a distinct dreamlike quality to this film, and certainly, mood rather than narrative is the dominant driving force to the film.
    Most Americans will consider this film to be a typical European "art house" film. If that is not your cup of tea, then you probably will not like this film, for it is decidedly a non-Hollywood production. Don't even bother trying to compare this film with the recent and remarkably inferior Demi Moore Hollywood film about two similar women living on separate continents; the films are nothing alike. "La double vie de veronique" is an excellent film for those who admire director Kieslowski's films or who have the patience to try something different and enlightening.
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    31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL AND HAUNTING June 10, 2001
    By EriKa
    Format:VHS Tape
    Irene Jacob stars in the dual role of Veronika, a Polish singer with a heart condition, and Veronique, a French puppeteer, who has some inexplicable connection this Polish version of herself. It is an interesting exploration of Veronique's life after Veronika dies, and of how Veronique feels a profound sense of loss at the death of her twin. This film was directed by Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski just before he made his Bleu, Blanc, Rouge trilogy. While this film is a bit oblique and hard to follow at times, it is worthwhile for its dark and fascinating subject matter and the sensual treatment of the scenery and characters. Also notable is the gorgeous soundtrack by frequent Kieslowski collaborator Zbigniew Preisner.
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    65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but somewhat unaffecting July 24, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    Much of this is an adoration of French actress Irène Jacob byDirector Krzysztof Kieslowski; in a sense it is a homage to her, oneof the most beautiful actresses of our time and one of the most talented. If you've never seen her, this is an excellent place to begin. She has an earnest, open quality about her that is innocent and sophisticated at the same time so that everything a man might want in a young woman is realized in her. Part of her power comes from Kieslowski himself who has taught her how she should act to captivate. He has made her like a little girl fully grown, yet uncorrupted, natural, generous, kind, without pretension, unaffected. She is a dream, and she plays the dream so well.

    The movie itself is very pretty, but somewhat unaffecting with only the slightest touch of blue (when the puppeteer appears by the curtain, the curtain is blue, and we know he is the one, since she is always red). The music by Zbignew Preisner is beautiful and lifts our spirits, highlighted by the soprano voice of Elzbieta Towarnicka. But the main point is Irène Jacob, whom the camera seldom leaves. We see her from every angle, in various stages of dress and undress, and she is beautiful from head to toe. And we see her as she is filled with the joy of herself and her talent, with the wonder of discovery and the wonder of life, with desire, and with love.

    Obviously this is not a movie for the action/adventure crowd. Everything is subtle and refined with only a gross touch or two (and no gore, thank you) to remind us of the world out there. Véronique accepts the little crudities of life with a generous spirit, the flasher, the two a.m. call, her prospective lover blowing his nose in front of her... She loves her father and old people.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars Polish director loves French star and makes boring movie
    Lots of surface beauty with no substance. The director is obviously in love with the actress. If you want to see a very pretty young French woman, clothed and unclothed, in scene... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Promise
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    fast service; as advertised
    Published 2 months ago by DDDJim
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Love it. An original, beautiful, poignant, and smart film.
    The 2nd additional interviews are interesting as well.
    Published 3 months ago by email fatali
    5.0 out of 5 stars KIESLOWSKI'S DREAM
    SOMETIMES FILM IS A JOURNEY INTO THE SUBCONSCIOUS ( AS IN BERGMAN ) AND SOMETIMES A JOURNEY IN THE IMAGINATION ( AS IN ANTONIONI ). Read more
    Published 4 months ago by BHS
    5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly moving
    A landmark cinema experience. Wonderfully acted. Beautifully directed. Take home this film from the Criterion Collection if you get the chance.
    Published 7 months ago by M. Damron
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
    This movie haunted me from the first time I saw it. It is a wonderful film with great acting from Irene Jacob.
    Published 11 months ago by E M Vicente
    5.0 out of 5 stars The work of genuine artist ...
    Kieslowski was one of the most thoughtful and poetic filmmakers ever, a rare blend of sensualist and realist. This may have been his finest film.
    Published 14 months ago by Brian Lambert
    5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM OF CINEMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    There are not enough words to express how beautiful this film really is!! it is like a visually gorgeous poem. Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Juan C Aleman
    2.0 out of 5 stars BAD TRANSFER
    I had the original DVD and the cinematography was spectacular--this Blu-ray transfer is bleached out and flat. The original was luminous, this is dull and without depth. Read more
    Published 20 months ago by jdvnew
    5.0 out of 5 stars Music of a Sphere
    Jacob embodies two referents (Eastern Europe as Weronika then Western Europe as Veronique), glimpsing the future before Kieslowski stages her sacrifice as a rite of passage toward... Read more
    Published 22 months ago by Ryan James Tutak
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    More Cropping?
    Criterion presents their licensed films in their original aspect ratios (with the exception of The Last Emperor, which has been altered by the cinematographer). The Double Life of Veronique is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, filling the entire vertical frame of a 16x9 television... Read More
    Mar 12, 2012 by Deviation |  See all 2 posts
    Sound not working
    Have you contacted Criterion? They have contact links at their site: criterion.com.
    Aug 2, 2011 by Lee R. |  See all 2 posts
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