In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as "the red violin," is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of "the red violin." Written by
Sean Gallagher <email@example.com>
Joshua Bell, who was the solo violinist on the sound track, was also the stunt violinist. When non-musician actors needed to be shown playing the violin in close-up, Bell would hide behind the actor, and his left hand would be the hand seen by the camera on the neck of the violin. According to an interview with Bell on NPR, he was scolded several times by director François Girard for overacting. See more »
When Frederick Pope is playing his new composition at the concert hall in Oxford, the last note continues for a couple of seconds after he takes the bow off the string. See more »
What can you say about a film that covers three centuries, people from all stations of society, and several European countries and Canada. Ambitious is a good start. This film was very well crafted and at about one hundred forty minutes was too short for me. The story follows a red violin, an inanimate object, although at times it seemed alive to me, thru three centuries and the influences good and ill that it has on its possessors. It does ever seem to be owned. Each of its possessors lives a life of passion and turmoil. The violin's birth is during turmoil and during its life it buried, shot, and almost burned. The writing which includes this parallel between the violin and its possessor , five somewhat independent segments that mell and converge in the final scenes, and a story told by tarot cards make for an extremely unique experience. Add to that the musical score, scenery, the varied languages and cultures and you have a great offering. The performances were all strong, but I thought Jason Flemyng as Lord Frederick Pope stood out. To say his character was eccentric and maybe a little over the top is justifiable but I'm sure that was intended. English nobility has always been known for its idiosyncrasies. The ending has incongruous feel with the remainder of the film but is satisfactory and I can not suggest a better one. Great entertainment! Three and a half stars!!!
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