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The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

La double vie de Véronique (original title)
Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Irène Jacob ... Weronika / Véronique
Halina Gryglaszewska ... La Tante
Kalina Jedrusik ... La femme barjolée
Aleksander Bardini ... Le chef d'orchestre
Wladyslaw Kowalski ... Le père de Weronika
Jerzy Gudejko ... Antek
Janusz Sterninski Janusz Sterninski ... L'avocat (as Jan Sterninski)
Philippe Volter Philippe Volter ... Alexandre Fabbri
Sandrine Dumas ... Catherine
Louis Ducreux ... Le professeur
Claude Duneton Claude Duneton ... Le père de Véronique
Lorraine Evanoff ... Claude
Guillaume de Tonquédec ... Serge (as Guillaume de Tonquedec)
Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus ... Jean-Pierre
Alain Frérot Alain Frérot ... Le facteur
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Storyline

Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Each of us is matched somewhere in the world, by our exact double - someone who shares our thoughts and dreams.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Poland | Norway

Language:

French | Polish | Italian

Release Date:

22 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Double Life of Véronique See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,999,955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

Slightly after the fortieth minute of the film, Véronique walks in an alley bordered by trees. Some crew members are partly visible behind the trees. See more »

Quotes

Weronika: Is that me?
Alexandre Fabbri: Of course it's you.
Weronika: Why two?
Alexandre Fabbri: Because during performances I handle them a lot. They damage easily.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The American version features a different ending: in the original, Véronique drives to the house where her father is still living and pauses outside to touch a tree. He realizes that she's outside and raises his head from the bench where he's working. The American version features one minute of additional footage showing the father stepping outside the house, calling his daughter, and Véronique running into his arms. Kieslowski shot the additional sequences after the film's premiere at the New York Film Festival in 1991 at the insistence of Harvey Weinstein, who at the time was president of the film's US distributor, Miramax films. See more »

Connections

References Un Chien Andalou (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Verso il cielo
Music by Zbigniew Preisner
Text from Dante Alighieri (as Dante)
Performed by Wielka Orkiestra Polskiego Radia Katowice (as Le Grand Orchestre de la Radio et Télévision Polonaise de Katowice), Chór Filharmonii Slaskiej (as Choeurs Philharmonique de Silésie), Elzbieta Towarnicka (soprano) and Jacek Ostaszewski (flute)
Conducted by Antoni Wit
See more »

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User Reviews

Split Alice
16 November 2008 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I save films. By that I mean that some films I expect to be so precious that I want to save them for some future drought, or blue period where I need spiritual insulin. Or it may be that a valued filmmaker has died and I know there is only so much to see new and I want to pace it through my life.

Kieslowski is something of a demigod in my film world. It isn't that he has mattered so much in the sense of affecting me. Its because he can push geography with the slightest touch, infer emotional richness with the most subtle of motions, show us beauty headon — headon without artifice. His the most delicate power I know in cinema. His "Decalogue" is complex, open, engineered to be contradictory in ways that seem natural. But they are not where the real juice is. Its merely where he worked out the way to weave vision and narrative conflict with his companion and creative partner.

It's "Three Colors" where it pays off. These are miraculous and I wish them on any open soul. They will tear you gently in ways you will not notice for years, and then know all of a sudden when you meet someone.

In between "Decalogue and "Colors," we have this, essentially an adventure in moving from Polish to French vocabulary, both emotional and chromatic. Here we see some of the strokes we will encounter later, in one colored film even with the remarkable Irene. But he seems unsure here. Things aren't integrated between cinema and narrative as they were before and would be afterward. The eye doesn't inform with curious discovery, instead seems to glance around and hover.

I suppose it is because the story isn't well developed in the way that others are. The deal with Kieslowski I think (beyond the beauty) is that he is able to infer future urges that probably will loop back into places and persons we see. (He closes a very few of these ordinary loops in the third colors film). But he never closes them, not the ones that matter. So we are left with our own emotions going ahead and anticipating results that matter to us, things started and not finished, breath sent out for us to catch and breath.

This film is based on Alice in through the Lookingglass, with a number of less-than-deft fixtures to the source. He tries to build grand arcs of anticipated futures around this symmetry but they aren't fragile and supported by our wishes as we have elsewhere. I think it was simply a time of adjustment for him, and I cannot recommend this, even though I saved it for decades.

I will suggest that if you do watch it, see the same story, the same emotional effects, the same tantalizing near-closure in "Sex and Lucia" by someone less gifted with the eye, but more gifted with the mysteries of women. Watch out for the delicate tearing.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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