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Absolutely wonderful
bjones6 July 1999
I thought this might be one of those films that would be "good for me" to see. I was mildly intrigued by descriptions of the story I had read and with the trailer, so I thought to take a chance. I took someone very close to me, an actual violin prodigy. Coincidently, her and I have recently been searching for a decent violin for her that is affordable by actual humans, so we could relate to parts of the plot first-hand. We arrived to a very thin theater in one of those mega-complex theaters, and while everyone was queuing up next-door to see the latest blockbuster from Hollywood I settled into an amazingly comfortable seat with an excellent view and prepared for whatever might come.

I was shocked. This film turned out to be clearly one of the best movie going experiences I have had in ages. We see this as the story unfolds and is creatively told through the reading of the violin makers wife's fortune with a deck of Tarot cards. It is the story of a part of the life of a violin; of the humans who would dare to possess her beauty. A masterpiece of a craftsman's art, it is desired by many for it's acoustic perfection. But, as Tolstoy said, "how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness." Or more interestingly, from Saint Augustine: "Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked." There seems to be a curse on this instrument as it brings ill to those who manage to possess it. This makes the ending especially eerie.

An original, imaginative and thought provoking story that engaged one's mind as American films almost never do. I will not describe more of the plot, it's far too good to ruin. The memory of this film will be one long treasured.

Oh, as for my guest, the honest-to-God prodigy: she said the music was magnificent (it was) even though a real musician could tell the actors weren't playing, it was well done.
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Sandman-4019 June 1999
I saw this film the same day it came highly recommended to me by a coffee shop friend who couldn't stop gushing about it. While this guy is also a member of the Academy and has steered me to some pretty good picks in the past, I walked into the theater fearing the usual letdown that invariably follows going into a film with overly high expectations (i.e. The English Patient, The Truman Show, etc.) This film not only managed to exceed my expectations, it restored my faith in the magic and mystery of cinema altogether.

We start with a rather simple but cleverly structured story about a very unique red violin that emblematically (and quite literally for that matter) takes on the heart and fate of a 16th century Italian woman as it passes across several centuries and continents on its way to the auction block in present day Montreal. The unfolding vignettes reveal more and more about the nature of this instrument and, when strung together in the bigger picture, play out like finely orchestrated movements of a great sonata; each movement plucking out its own stirring and poignant variation on theme. I was so swept up in the majesty and spectacle of this film that it didn't even occur to me until much later that the violin is nothing less than a personification of beauty itself (okay, okay, maybe I'm starting to overly deconstruct things here in retrospect, but the parallels are too perfect to remain unexplored). It's fascinating to watch both the transformative and destructive power of this beauty as it's placed into the hands of a sensitive young boy, a self absorbed musical protege, and a remorseful ring leader of a totalitarian regime. Much praise goes to director Francois Girard in how he refrained from overplaying the social and moral commentary, repeating this theme at mostly an emotional level rather than an intellectual one -- much in the same way that beauty itself, to some degree anyway, defies analytical discussion and belongs in the realm of pure and simple experience. You obviously can't dissect it, as co-writer Don McKellar¹s onscreen character thought to do, and so it remains as it was in it's original form: timeless, magical, elusive. The stuff that pompous nobility and rich collectors the world over will offer a king's ransom for and still never manage to posses in the end.

Performances were good to great all around. It's hard to go wrong with Samuel L. Jackson in a leading role and I appreciated the fact that the actors actually appeared to be playing the violin on camera, as opposed to watching the typical hokey cutaways and cheat shots often associated with onscreen musical performances; nauseating contrivances that always tear down the wall of suspended disbelief with a resounding crash. The costuming, set design and cinematography were absolutely stunning (Oscar nominations soon to follow I'm sure) without taking center stage from the story. I especially loved the amazing period recreations of China and Austria. I felt like I was fully transported in both space and time to these places and walking among people who really belonged there.

Overall I would rate this one as a true film classic on the level of masterpiece. Perhaps this is in part due to my love for music and the undeniable fact that, being the sentimental guy that I am, I'm always a sucker for haunting open-ended films like this where you leave the theater in a half daze, pondering all the implications, mesmerized by the lingering imagery. I'm still speculating about the future of Mr. Moritz and what will ultimately happen when beauty is placed into the hands of our modern world.
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Unforgettable experience
rudat4 February 2001
After watching too many would-be "great pieces" lately that are enticing you from TV commercials, leaving you (or me, I should say) disappointed most of the time, "The Red Violin" is a gem among all these fleeting flicks or time-wasters. Recommended by a good friend I went to see this piece and frankly, I came out of the theater speechless! I was overwhelmed, enriched as well as happy that I finally, in years, got to see something that's well worth while.

From the story, costumes, cinematography, acting and finally its greatest actor -the superb music- all absolutely flawless! S.L.Jackson acts at his best, his performance is unforgettable and I am sure one of his own most favourite; I can tell. I was estatic to see J.Corigliano win the Oscar for the best score, and saddened at the fact that the whole movie wasn't nominated for even more Oscars - are they blind in that Academy or what?! Now that's a shame but you know what I don't care what the Academy has to say, important is my subjective feeling and this movie made my day, and days to come.

I couldn't wait to get hold of both, the video and the sound track, and I never seem to get tired watching or hearing that beauty all over again. And believe it or not, that ingenious soundtrack can be so erotic at times that if I may give a little advice to all these men out there seeking to entice and seduce their partners - hey, this might be the way to go - worked for me (and her!)!!!

Anyways, I'd like to recommend this movie to everybody with an open heart and mind, I guarantee satisfaction and enrichment in every possible way. And lastly let me bestow my gratitude and thanks to the very director F.Girard for enlightening my spirit, my heart and my soul with his vision of a truly quality story that I can never forget.
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Measured, thoughtful account of near-mystical instrument
pooch-86 August 1999
Literally spanning centuries to unfold its mesmerizing tale, The Red Violin traces the unbelievable history of an acoustically flawless masterpiece crafted in the late 1600s by an Italian master. Co-screenwriters Francois Girard (who directed) and Don McKellar (who acts in the film) structure the movie around a wealth of richly detailed locales, including Vienna, China, and Oxford, and provide a unique modern-day Montreal framework which intertwines with the often tragic history of the instrument to provide the narrative with a rather unique element of mystery. The late-19th century English section shows the film at its most baroque, but each of the finely tuned tales reaches for some truth about music, life, love, and passion -- and that is commendable. Music lovers take note: the sounds that come out of the crimson treasure throughout the course of its journey are utterly thrilling and inspiring.
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A wonderful journey
david.farthing6 April 2000
I was captivated from the moment the film started. The music flowed effortlessly and the scene was set immediately.

Some people may be put off by the use of foreign language and subtitles early on in the film but I found this served to enhance the story and grab my attention even more. It reminds you of the true beauty of language and music and no matter what your taste you cannot help but to be drawn into the story.

The story follows the journey of the Red Violin from its creation and you really feel that something special is happening from the way the red violin is revered. The different people who come into contact with the instrument all have there own stories and you find yourself trying to guess how the Violin will affect them. Sometimes you are right and sometimes not.

Francois Girard has produced a wonderful film and the original score enhances this. This film is one that I will watch again and again and one that should be highly recommended.
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Take the journey
mhmslm4 March 2000
The Red Violin is the saga of spirit and soul as they press onward through time. The adventure begins with Anna, a young woman whose only child brings about her untimely death. A gift of a violin to be given to the babe becomes host to Anna's spirit. The Red Violin narrowly escapes the grips of greed, ignorance, and vengeful lust as she is passed from hand to hand of those who would have her. She wanders about the globe until at last she is exonerated by the one man who knows the truth that she holds within her wooden belly.

In spite of the death and despair, the film is truly positive. It teaches us to appreciate people from all walks of life. From the violin maker of the 16th century who made the Red Violin for the bittersweet arrival of his baby son, we travel through time with the violin to the Chinese Communist Party who spelled out certain death to any instrument that may threaten the ideals of the collective. In our travels, we learn the dark and sordid side to each person, but we also learn that to create a shadow there must be light. That light, or hope, that the people shed is what gives the violin her vitality and will to survive.

A truly magnificent film, The Red Violin inspired me to recollect my own past I shared with my aged upright piano; the certain spiritual vibrations I felt while playing a ragtime melody. Suddenly, memories came rushing back to me tenfold. I recalled the times as a young girl I would listen as my father played his rendition of Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. Wiping a tear from my eye, I remembered how long ago that truly was; how my piano shaped and molded me, as I shaped and molded it. I am left wondering where my beloved piano is now. Who is influencing his instrumental life? In the end, what stories will he have to tell, and will they be of me

Take the journey of the Red Violin. Visit other lands and other times. Feel the strings of life against your fingers; the bow of spirit in your palm. Rest your chin against the weathered wood of wisdom. Listen closely and hear the music that is the gentle rhythm of time and change. See the film to learn about music; to learn about history; to learn the boundless raptures of the spirit. Perhaps, as I, you will learn just a little more about yourself.
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An ambitious story that delivers
T-106 September 1999
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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A wonderful and very musical movie.
philip_vanderveken25 March 2005
Independent movies or Asian and European films (to make it easy, let's say all movies that haven't been produced by some big Hollywood studio), always seem to have a certain group of fans, not because they are good, but because they are "different". That so-called in-crowd believes that every movie that hasn't been made by a big studio is great art and that all other movies are bad. Never tell them that sometimes the opposite can be true, because they can't and won't believe you. Well, I'm not one of them and I watch all movies with a critical eye. And yes, I try to see as many of those "alternative" movies as well. But that's just because I'm a movie buff who is interested in all kinds of movies, not because I'm convinced that this kind of movies is automatically a lot better than the rest.

In this movie we don't follow some people, but a violin on its journey through time and the world. The movie starts in present day Montreal, where "the red violin", a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, is being auctioned off. But instead of staying with the auction all the time, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy and then follow it as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery/orphanage, a violinist in 19th century Oxford and China during Mao's Cultural Revolution... Each time it brings the person who owns it a lot of fame, but also bad luck and despair, often resulting in the death of the owner or someone the owner really loves...

What I appreciated in this movie is that it wasn't just an ordinary drama or thriller. It actually tried to be original and it succeeded very well. Another thing that I also really liked was the fact that not every detail of the movie was clear until the end (for instance why the fortune teller's predictions come true, but not for the woman, but for the violin instead.). It sometimes seems that the creators of movies don't even bother about adding some mystery in their movies anymore and I really miss that. That's probably why I liked it so much in this one.

Once in a while you come across a movie that you might call a gem. Well, "The Red Violin" is one of those truly magnificent gems. It's beautiful in every possible way. The music is excellent (although you better love violin music, because that's all you'll here), the acting is very nice and the story really is very beautiful. I guess I could talk for hours about this movie, but it's better to watch it than to read about it, so I'll end my review by saying that this is a wonderful and very musical movie that doesn't deserve any less than an 8.5/10.
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Absolutely amazing from start to finish
LezPoolShark17 March 2001
I originally saw this movie for the sole purpose of seeing a movie about a violin. Being a violinist myself, I must say that the music in this film is what first attracted me. However, as I watched the story unfold before me, I realized that there is so much more to this film. The story is enchanting. It draws the audience into its powerful grip, keeping their attention from the very first second as the sordid life of the Red Violin is slowly revealed. There is immensely remarkable work displayed in this film, and the music is just as enchanting as the story. I think this is a true masterpiece, and should be seen by everyone at least once....
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A wonderful ride, a bit thin by the end, but great mise-en-scene meanwhile
secondtake9 July 2012
The Red Violin (1998)

A total romantic fiction, rather compelling in its construction over many centuries, and beautifully wrought in each era.

I don't suppose the violin needs romanticizing, nor does it need a kind of obvious group hug view of its history, but that's the feel good, up and down, loving story it takes. First there is the small violin shop where it is made, and the tragedy around this particular model, the maker's last. It's supposed to come from the same era as the Strad and other timeless fiddles. It's a great place to begin a story filled with mysteries (and the mystery of a great violin, it's shape, wood, and varnish, is given high tech reinforcement in the end with an electronic awe). So the violin is born.

And it moves from a Austrian orphanage (with an unbelievable prodigy) to generations of gypsies (some interesting filming with the violin suspended in space as one after another player takes it up) to a crackpot British prodigy (who acts more like a rock star and an indulgent one, if that's not redundant). Finally it winds its way (not so improbably, because life is weird) to China, which of course echoes the modern rise of the Asian virtuosi coming from that part of the world.

So the tale is the history of a violin, a possessed one. The spirit of the instrument seems to inhabit the movie. This is reinforced by an Italian fortune-teller (a kindly witch) who has an early Tarot deck. The Tarot was not used for divination that early--it was introduced a card game in Northern Italy in the late 1400s--but that's okay, because it works into the plot really well. Five cards are chosen by the pregnant wife of the master violin maker. Each is turned over for another twenty minute chapter in the movie. In a key moment, the wife asks the fortune teller, what if I don't like what it says, what if it's evil? And the fortune teller says, "I'll pretend not to notice."

Promptly the moon is the first card, the most ominous card in the deck (I've studied tarot a bit, which is why, weirdly enough, I watched the movie). But the fortune teller doesn't say that doom is facing the pregnant wife. Instead she lies, and the movie takes one turn after another.

You might think this is brilliant stuff, and it has the trappings of that. It could have been, with some slight twist of intentions, artfully transcendent. But it's a hair long at times, and by the last (modern) scenes, a bit cold and unfulfilling. I don't know the solution to what might have worked, but I know it left me interested and curious by the end, not quite bowled over, which is clearly (on the sleeve) the intention.

Still, an engaging, musically rich tapestry of great scenes, great music, and a brimming story. Recommended, with slight reservations.
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Not perfect, but mighty close! This film forces you to pay attention!
NaplesMacMan2 October 2004
The mystique of violin making has always intrigued me so this film was a big attraction for me going in, and I wasn't disappointed for one second!

OK, first of all, the obvious things that make it special: reality, craft, acting, scoring, and cinematography! It takes only a few seconds to know that this gem did NOT emanate from the money grubbers in Hokeywood California as one more way to titillate teenagers with sex, violence, and computer generated special effects with a subliminal message that sells products. Nope! This film was made by film makers who understand the power of a story well told, and REAL cinema.

Cutting back and forth repeatedly between the present and various disparate periods and places from the past, THE RED VIOLIN forces the viewer to pay attention and most of all... THINK!

The Red Violin is NOT the subject here but a catalyst to stimulate thought about human behavior and how different societies have related to art as we move through the centuries.

The casting was (on the whole) excellent though the choice of Samuel L. Jackson as a learned expert in ancient instruments was not convincing for me personally. And, the NON-ending which is more of a comment on human habits of acquisition than human nobility, was just not what I considered a definitive ending. (Maybe that was the point! "Everything continues endlessly...")

If you go to movies as an excuse to nibble away on munchies and get titillation, well, this one's NOT for you. BUT, if you have the patience to watch and think simultaneously as a great story unfolds, then SEE this film immediately!
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Heavily Underrated
LiteDesign6 July 2000
An incredibly well-thought-through connecting storyline makes this movie a pleasure to watch. Its screenplay was one of the most unfortunate Oscar snubs this year. Although not necessarily the best, it deserves recognition for its creativity.
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Jess-246 December 1998
this movie, like a book of short stories, can hook you once and annoy you the next. The segments follow a violin for 3 centuries obviously shooting for a wide range of settings, thus a wide range of stories and characters. But they are all much different. The Red Violin will be rewarding for those who pay attention, and a pain for those who don't, because the transaction of the violin from person to person isn't smooth, whoever is not willing to pay attention should steer clear. I definitely recommend it to all big movie buffs, because those willing to see it, should. I really enjoyed Don Mcellars work before, and this is no different. Some segments, like 'Vienna' are very enjoyable and sad (in a good way, like bambi's mom getting shot) well some like 'Oxford' are dark and depressing. You may not leave thinking it's spectacular, but ya gotta respect it. Thumbs up.
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Beautiful film
Gab178929 August 2000
I had never heard of this movie until I heard about it on the radio. I listen to classical music, and the staion was praising Joshua Bell (an ohio native) on his perfomance of the music. I was curious and saw it when it came on video. not only did i fall in love with the movie itself, but also the music. it was soothing, passionate, and brutal all at the same time. Many people I have talked to have said that Le Violon Rouge was just some crappy indie movie. However, the music is as beautiful as the plot. The storyline and the way it was presented in the form of different people who wanted the violin for different reasons was not so much genius, but different and fitting.
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Stephen-1227 April 1999
This is art. Real art. So few films try for this much.

My sadness is that its appeal will be limited to polyglots, musicians, and lovers of costume drama. It's worth so much more than that. Beautifully shot, sensitively scripted and acted, and cleverly executed, this deserves more awards and greater coverage than it's going to get.

9 out of 10. I dock one point because Girard occasionally lets the pace drop to deadly, and because Jason Flemyng and Greta Scacchi irritated me beyond words - but that's not Girard's fault.
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Excellent movie
hollywood2k29 January 2000
This movie was captivating from start to finish and is truly a work of cinematic art. Anyone who is a fan of great film and not just the mainstream, mega blockbuster, more cgi than story will love this movie. The fact that the movie is based on the violin rather than the people (which isn't a new idea) is what makes this film great because it shows that objects in our lives have stories all their own. I also loved this movie because I'm a huge Samuel L. Jackson fan and this is one of his best roles to date (other than Pulp Fiction of course) because I didn't know if I was supposed to like him or not until the very end. I also liked the twist involved with the origin of the violin's color because it was totally unexpected. Bottom line: this movie was great and one of the best of the year.

P.S. - If you liked this try "Twenty Bucks" with Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, Brenden Fraser, and Elizabeth Shue. It uses the same idea of an object passing from person to person but in a span of a couple of days not centuries.
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More than the sum of its parts...
PresterJ17 September 1999
The Red Violin is more than a collection of short stories centering about a fabulous instrument: it is an examination of Western Civilization and those to whom it is entrusted. The creation of the violin in Renaissance Italy mirrors the rise of Classical music and, with it, of modern Western culture. It moves from time to time, from place to place, always falling into the hands of those who are, in some way, greedy. In every scenario comes a realization of the humanity that lies behind true culture, and the inhumanity of those who falsely profess to be the most cultured. Those who miss the thematic unity of the work have only seen the cinematic beauty that is but the surface of this film.
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A beautiful film that enchants you completely.
shaboholic27 October 2001
It has been quite a long time since I have viewed a film that told such a wonderful story so beautifully & in such a touching way. The music, the mood, the settings just made the film so real, so authentic in such a way the you cannot help but feel the passion this film is so full of. The concept of the film which follows the violin through the years from its birth to the present day & how it has touched the people in its presence is unique & done in such a way that reaches out to you to feel its impact. The physical settings only authenticate things, while some films with subtitles can be sometimes awkward, this films' subtitles only make you feel the film more & draw you into the story more. Lovingly filmed, a score that that is memorable & so absolutely perfect. This film touched me in a way very few ever have. I genuinely felt this movie & a treasure like this does not come along very often.
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A unique masterpiece.
adrian_mcfarlane29 March 2000
Never before has a movie made me care about an inanimate object as much as this one. Pulp Fiction and Ronin are the only movies in recent memory that I can think of that even gave me the slightest glimmer of interest in an object. The Red Violin changed all that. Not only did I care for the violin, but I began to understand how Samuel L. Jackson's character felt towards it. A beautifully crafted movie.
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Recognition for an unusual epic
Patrickzaman25 May 2005
Just to tease those who have not seen this incredible work of art and to make the others think you should see it again !

Who could think that a movie about a simple violin could turn into such magnificent beauty? «The Red Violin» whole story is based on a piece of wood and strings, which carries a whole story of humanity and social issues. We travel through 400 years of history and music, to end up in what you might think is the end of the story of the «red violin» but in fact, takes you to the next chapter.

If you are a classical and historical music fan, you will love this movie. The Oscar to composer John Corigliano was not an option.

François Girard clearly has something for music, as he did another wonderful movie about pianist Glenn Gould, «Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould», a movie that really drives us through the life of a great piano interpreter. Quite different from «The Red Violin», but quite good too. I can't wait to see his next movie, if he ever plans to do one, but the challenge to surpass «The Red Violin» is quite big.
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priced acquisition
aw-624 April 1999
Just saw this film at the local film festival and it lived up to the hype and more. The music was incredible and considering I gave up learning the violin after Grade 1, I've found new respect and love for the music they produce. Just felt swept away by the music from the child prodigy, the gypsies and the English virtuoso.

The story was reminiscent of The Yellow Rolls Royce with the main protagonist now being a violin. I thought it was obvious why and how the violin is red but the revealing scene still drew gasps from the audience. So is the violin cursed consequently or just an innocent instrument of fate.

Wonderful way of introducing each chapter via the Tarot Cards and ending each through a prospective bidder at the auction. Initially, I was discontented with Samuel Jackson's character and his eventual prized acquisition but I realised that this is not the end but in fact, another beginning. If the instrument had landed up with somebody of relevant ties, it would mean the story has come full circle and it's time to wrap up. This ending actually serves to continue the story - well done!
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an irritating movie
onepotato227 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is my second try at watching this film, after a long interval, and after thinking I must have been wrong about how much I disliked it the first time. I'm completely open to a fragmented narrative constructed around an object traveling through time but this is thoroughly mediocre film-making and storytelling. Somewhere between the legitimate formats of "art film" and "mass entertainment" is the "failed art film," which offers only meager nourishment, and the joys of neither. The structure of Violin comes by way of "The Monkey's Paw," except here the lowbrow monkey paw is replaced by the snootier totem of a violin.

There are two types of tiresome scenes in this movie; people playing the violin... and viewers getting to know a string of aggravating characters. It's too long by an hour to include all those irritating virtuoso performances and familiar/obvious practice sequences. The historical sequences are all lifeless clunkers. This movie also does a pretty bad job with non-sequential time and narrative jumps. When mad lover Victoria pulls a gun and shoots the violin that is coming between her and her lover, I just rolled my eyes. You'v got to be kidding.. that's just over-the-top silly. I was laughing at the wrong points (Actually there are no laughs - it's oh-so-serious!) When the kid dropped dead as he was about to play his concerto, I burst out laughing. There's actually nothing funny about a kid dropping dead, but bad manipulative film-making is a laugh riot.

The only good moments I found in this were those depicting the cynical, blood-thirsty cultural revolution in China, which manage to suggest that the meaning of music is transitory. Perhaps you'll be as tired of violin music as I was about halfway through this. This story is as shallow as a puddle.
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A true Diamond in the Rough!
xrayman429 November 2013
All I can say is WOW! This is truly a masterpiece of cinema. I watched this on a whim one evening and I am so thankful I did. The story is superb, the acting is excellent, and the music score was just "outstanding"! This is the kind of film that true hardcore movie buffs revel in finding while having to sift through the so many bad ones made over the years. But if your lucky enough to find it then you will find that it does not disappoint! If only they made more films like this one. If anything you might come out feeling a little more educated in the art of classical But seriously folks this is a must see film for anyone looking for a very entertaining movie of substance. It has it all,.. sadness, happiness, danger, love, anger,etc....! it is truly one of the best! If you haven't seen it then you are truly missing out.
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cindy-5624 July 2000
A wonderful, unforgettable movie! The acting is excellent, the stories are interesting, the plot is unique. The ending can leave one wondering. If you have not yet seen this movie, pay careful attention to the last prophecy. An advantage of renting, of course, is that one can go back after the ending to replay the last prophecy, if needed, to form an opinion as to what happened at the end.
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Film as finely tuned and passionate as the most superb violin.
lights-52 April 2000
I was moved and fascinated by this film. Its uniquely crafted story and the use of dual flashback/flashforward sequences make it without peer. But despite the splendid locations, acting, photography and story, it was the playing of Joshua Bell which lifted this movie to incredible heights. The "Red Violin" is supposed to (in the story) be unique in all the world. Whatever actual instrument Bell used, he made it sound as though the notes could have come from this violin and this violin only.

The resemblance of the violin's sound to the human voice and Bell's inspiring playing truly made the instrument itself a character in the film.
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