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The Red Violin [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,034 customer reviews

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The Red Violin

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Editorial Reviews

Import Blu-Ray/Region A pressing. An epic adventure of mystery and obsession unfolds when Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson), an appraiser of rare musical instruments, discovers a one-of-a-kind, red violin at a prestigious Montreal auction house. Convinced he's found an authentic long-lost masterpiece, Morritz uncovers the spectacular journey of the priceless violin, how it changed hands and the lives of all who touched it. When the violin's shocking secret is finally revealed, Morritz must wrestle with his own demons and choose between burying the truth, and risking everything.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Blu-ray, Import, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,034 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003EV5NGI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,581 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This is a superb film in which the star of the film is a violin known as "The Red Violin'. It is a story that begins in Italy in the late seventeenth century and ends in the twentieth century. The violin is crafted by an Italian violin maker for his unborn child and is a work of sheer love. The viewer sees this distinctive red violin travel in time, as it becomes an integral part of the life of a variety of owners, transcending culture, race, class, and talent. It ultimately ends up as an offering at an auction house.

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.
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Format: DVD
Fans of the French piece "Tous les Matins du Monde" (Alain Corneau, 1991) will enjoy this creation of French-Canadian Director Francois Girard, whose prior forays into film include documentaries involving Bach Cello suites and television specials starring cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It's no wonder then that Girard was able to capture the sheer majesty and fascination of the violin; in this film we follow this captivation through the centuries. Samuel L. Jackson plays Charles Morritz, an expert in antique musical instruments. The story opens with Morritz' arrival at an auction, where a very significant and unique Bussotti violin is being sold. As the film flashbacks throughout periods of time in the violin's history, we visit its making in Cremona, Italy, its burial in the hands of a young Austrian prodigy, the musical career of a Victorian virtuoso, and its banishment from Revolutionist China. As Morritz studies the famous instrument, he unearths deep secrets about its origin, and must face the ultimate dilemma himself: "What do you do when the thing you most wanted, so perfect, just comes?"
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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The first time I saw "The Red Violin" was over seven years ago. I didn't own a television at the time and watched the film instead on a ten inch monitor in a college dorm room. I had plucked the DVD from the bargain bin at the local video store for only a few dollars. I'd never heard of the film and bought it simply because I liked Samuel L. Jackson. Well, not only that, the decisive factor was that, at the time, all I had was a few dollars. So it was either this or a low budget Dolph Lundgren action flick (which I am not above, I might add). Still, I chose wisely. For two hours I was completely absorbed by the deftly told tale of a perfectly crafted violin's global journey throughout the centuries, culminating in the shockingly beautiful conclusion that ties together all the threads in a neat, satisfying tapestry.

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.
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The Red Violin [Blu-ray]
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