The Red Violin

  • Film
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Cremona, 1693: master violin maker Nicolo Bussotti (Cecchi) loses both wife and child to a difficult birth and adds their blood to the varnish on his latest and finest instrument. The tarot cards had, however, foretold a long life for the mother, a prediction with an element of truth as we follow the violin's across continents and centuries. In 1990s Montreal, Charles Morritz (Jackson) is appraises a collection of instruments for auction. He is about to stumble across the find of his career, the original, fabled 'Red Violin', but can he really bear to see it sold off for millions of dollars? From the team of Girard and McKellar, this is almost as rigorously structured as their earlier film, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. While the soundtrack playing of Joshua Bell and the keening, multifaceted orchestral score provide a connecting thread, the individual vignettes are rarely powerful enough to create a cumulative emotional pull. However, just when the proceedings seem in danger of drifting into exquisite academicism, along comes Jackson's intensely focused performance to demonstrate just why the enduring power of musical expression matters so much.

Release details

Duration: 130 mins

Cast and crew

Director: François Girard
Screenwriter: Don McKellar, François Girard
Cast: Carlo Cecchi
Irene Grazioli
Jean-Luc Bideau
Christoph Koncz
Clothilde Mollet
Jason Flemyng
Greta Scacchi
Sylvia Chang
Liu Zifeng
Samuel L Jackson
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