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The Red Violin


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Product Details

  • Actors: Carlo Cecchi, Jean-Luc Bideau, Christoph Koncz, Jason Flemyng, Greta Scacchi
  • Directors: François Girard
  • Writers: François Girard, Don McKellar
  • Producers: Barbara Shrier, Daniel Iron, Giannandrea Pecorelli, Niv Fichman
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (825 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000031WD7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,630 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Red Violin" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Parental Lock
  • "Soundtrack Presentation" (Advertisement For Soundtrack)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(iv)

Amazon.com

Mounted in high lavish style, from the opening strains to coda, The Red Violin pays homage to the careful uses of color and composition without bothering to support these qualities with any real substance. Oh, it's a class act on the surface all the way, while failing on nearly every other level to convince. The story tells the story, revealing precious little else. The 17th-century Cremonese instrument-maker Niccolo Bussotti finishes his final violin with a curious red varnish, the secret of which spans the film, yet will come as a surprise only to the very sleepy. The odd voyage of this unique violin through history is then explored from one episode to the next, from child prodigy to gypsies to Victorian virtuoso to a clandestine enclave of art lovers in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. This is all framed by the violin's rediscovery in present day by instrument appraiser Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson), for whom the perfect instrument strikes a resonant chord. The main scheme of the film, an object connecting a number of seemingly disparate stories, has been used many times, most notably in Max Ophuls's La Ronde. But while this approach is employed elsewhere to cause one scene to reverberate against another, The Red Violin is content to leave each episode thematically unconnected with any of the others. On the decorative level, the film may satisfy many viewers with its sensuous attention to tone and detail, as well as its eclectic and expertly performed score. But as narrative it is very slight. Just pierce the pretty crust of this puff pastry and gaze in wonder at the pocket of air within. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
A Movie Fan
It is truly an EXCEPTIONAL FILM of a beautiful love story and the universality of the language of classical music.
operamaryc
Excellent movie along with great scenes and a very good story.
Marilyn J. Bilby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

155 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2002
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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107 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Leif Sheppard VINE VOICE on July 8, 2010
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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96 of 105 people found the following review helpful By 3D-fan on June 9, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review pertains to the June 2008 release of the Meridian Collection remastering of "The Red Violin". This well-crafted saga of how a priceless, one-of-a-kind violin is passed onto various owners over time and in several countries, has been beautifully remastered. Presented in anamorphic widescreen and enchanced for widescreen TVs (16x9 aspect ratio, no black bars--the picture fills the entire screen), the picture is crystal clear and the colors are fresh and vibrant.

I viewed this DVD on a 46-inch Samsung LCD high definition TV, played on a Toshiba 1080p HD DVD player--and the picture and sound are stunning. If you play this DVD on a player that can "upconvert" a regular DVD (such as this release),the resulting image is already high definition--no need for a separate Blu-ray or HD DVD edtion.

The movie is itself, is of course, quite engaging and has more of a European/foreign film flair about it. The only well-known American movie star in this film is Samuel Jackson, who, although he is somewhat miscast in this role (as other reviewers have also noted), still manages to make his character believable--his inclusion in this movie was not a train wreck for me. The rest of the cast is quite good, although likely to be largely unknown to American audiences. If you appreciate beautiful violin music, accurate and elaborate period sets, other cultures and foreign languages (English subtitles are provided)--then you will love this film.

The "R" rating for this film could have easily been avoided. There are two brief scences in one segement of the story involving partial nudity, one of which is a sex scene (involving the violin, no less), but these scenes are not graphic or violent--one of them is actually more like a pose ("caught in the act" as it were).
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