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

4.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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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.

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

  • 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 (104 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B004CGUC10
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,559 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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    2 Comments 147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    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.
    Comment 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    I imagine this film is subtly autobiographical because the director is Polish and yet his films are all made in French. So the two Veroniques could quite possibly be the twin creative personas or muses of Kieslowski himself. The one Veronique is Polish and dies singing, the other lives on in France but with a sense of having missed the one important connection in her life. So the film feels like an allegory of lives or destinies unfulfilled and the most obvious destiny that was cut short was Poland's but this film does not make speeches, it whispers.
    As an artist living and creating in exile Kieslowski must himself have felt divided into two parts. Modern life feeling impersonal is a classic theme of the twentieth century yet the way Kieslowski tells it it does not feel at all cliched, rather he breathes new life and new understanding into what it means to live in the modern world. His allegory presents a very high vision of humanity which makes us all feel responsible and connected to each other in some way. But the appeal of the film is that it says everything in such an intimate way. Veronique is a film which becomes richer with each viewing. Kieslowski's films tap into a very new kind of place that has no language barriers. His films return to a purity that is almost silent. A universality is present in his art that is quite breathtaking.
    1 Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    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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