The Red Violin (1998) / Drama-Romance

MPAA Rated: R for some sexuality
Running Time: 130 min.

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Greta Scacchi, Sylvia Chang, Jason Flemyng
Director: Francois Girard
Screenplay: Don McKellar, Francois Girard

Review published April 10, 1999

A famous violin is put up for auction in Montreal, and many interested parties are willing to spend a small fortune to get it for their own reasons. Through a series of flashbacks, the film follows the tale of the violin over the centuries, from its initial creation through all of its many owners over the centuries.

Although The Red Violin may be somewhat on the superficial side, it's still an undeniably well-crafted drama and very highly intriguing entertainment operating on many complex levels artistically and thematically. The violin itself represents something more than a mere instrument of perfect pitch. It is the tool through which the many possessors find life and death, the self-expression of the individuals and their freedom.

Each tale is different than the next, bringing forth different themes, and all of them showcasing a different aspect which the violin evokes. Beautiful costumes, outstanding cinematography and quality acting are the highlights of this intelligent and thought-provoking drama.

Oh, the music isn't bad either.

Qwipster's rating:

1999 Vince Leo