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The Red Violin [Blu-ray]
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The story is told in a series of intricately woven vignettes that are justaposed to the past and present in a series of well placed flash backs and flash forwards. The past is set in seventeenth century Italy, where the viewer sees what happens to a master violin maker's beautiful pregnant wife and unborn child. The present is set in the twentieth century at a posh auction house in Montreal, Canada, where a host of characters, who have a connection to the red violin's extraordinary and mysterious past, have gathered to bid upon it.
The film is a lushly beautiful one due to its notable cinematography. The music is exquisite, its impressive soundtrack made so by the superlative playing of violinist, Joshua Bell. The acting is uniformly stellar. The vignette of nineteenth century Victorian England virtuoso, Frederick Pope (Jason Flemyng), is wildly sensuous and erotic. There is even an quality of mysticism about the film, as the story in Italy begins with a fortune teller's predictions, which the violin maker's pregnant wife mistakenly thinks is about her, when in reality the fortuneteller is foretelling the future that lies in store for the red violin.
In the twentieth century, Charles Morritz (Samuel L.Read more ›
The music, composed by John Corigliano, won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Score. Violinist Joshua Bell (who also starred in the 1999 film Music of the Heart, playing himself) provides the music of the Red Violin, and was able to capture the different centuries as if he had played in them himself. The part of the Austrian music teacher Georges Poussin, played by Jean-Luc Bideau, is especially delightful in its comedic undertones; also not to be missed is the tarot card reader who is setting up the story; her role ties the film together and gives it the continuity needed in this kind of format. Overall it is a very engaging film full of passion, music, and history.
On that note let me make this clear - were I reviewing the film itself it would be five easy stars, as it's an under appreciated contemporary classic with beautifully shot cinematography and a screenplay so moving that Ingmar Bergman wishes he had written it. The acting is top notch as well: two highlights include the real life musical prodigy Christoph Koncz's moving portrayal as his fictional counterpart Kasper Weiss and Jason Flemyng as English violin virtuoso Frederick Pope. This Blu-Ray release, however, is a half hearted attempt at giving the film a high definition transfer and giving it as much as three stars would be extreme generosity on my part. As it is, two stars is more than fair.
I owned the original Lions Gate release from that bargain bin years ago, then later upgraded to the Meridian Collection release (also by Lions Gate), which featured a slightly enhanced transfer of the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating story and very well done, weaving three story threads together, back and forth in time.Published 6 days ago by Kate Mack
better than expected; wonderful story; very nice cinematography!Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really love this movie. It is part detective story, part romance and part tragedy all in one. Probably Samuel L. Jackson's most underrated role. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Nathan Keysor
I rented this movie once and really enjoyed it. I felt the need to own it. Very good movie. Loved the music.Published 1 month ago by Karla Goddard
One of my all time favorite movies! Mystery, intrigue, and music! The plot and characters keep you glued to the screen!Published 1 month ago by seraphim