The Red Violin (Le violon rouge) 1999

The Red Violin

Critics Consensus

A symphony of storytelling whose lulls lead to satisfying crescendos, The Red Violin weaves a centuries-long saga with the journey of a single instrument.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 42

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,963

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Movie Info

The intricate history of a beautiful antique violin is traced from its creation in Cremona, Italy, in 1681, where a legendary violin maker (Carlo Cecchi) paints it with his dead wife's blood to keep her memory alive, to an auction house in modern-day Montreal, where it draws the eye of an expert appraiser (Samuel L. Jackson). Over the years between, the violin travels through four different countries, where it has a profound impact on all those who own it.

Cast & Crew

Samuel L. Jackson
Charles Morritz (Montréal)
Don McKellar
Evan Williams (Montréal)
Carlo Cecchi
Nicolo Bussotti (Cremona)
Irene Grazioli
Anna Bussotti (Cremona)
Jean-Luc Bideau
Georges Poussin (Vienna)
Christoph Koncz
Kaspar Weiss (Vienna)
Jason Flemyng
Frederick Pope (Oxford)
Greta Scacchi
Victoria Byrd (Oxford)
Sylvia Chang
Xiang Pei (Shanghai)
Liu Zifeng
Chou Yuan (Shanghai)
François Girard
Director
François Girard
Writer
Daniel Iron
Co-Producer
Barbara Shrier
Line Producer
John Corigliano
Original Music
Alain Dostie
Cinematographer
Gaetan Huot
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The Red Violin (Le violon rouge)

Critic Reviews for The Red Violin (Le violon rouge)

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for The Red Violin (Le violon rouge)

  • Jun 25, 2013
    The beauty of The Red Violin is that it touches so many different phenomenons through the ages. Roger Ebert put it best when saying: "Not many films can encompass a British aristocrat who likes to play the violin while he is having sex and a Chinese woman who risks her life to protect a violin from the martinets of the Cultural Revolution". This violin went through out the film from 1681-1997 and from Vienna to China. It does show the life of an antique. While the multi-story system made it difficult to connect and care for any characters, it allowed the violin to shine through. The music of this was amazing and deserved its Oscar. Technicality wise it's phenomenal, the film was hard to follow personally though.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2012
    This is the story of a violin that starts in 1681 in Italy and ends in present-day New York. It's hard to judge a film in which the main character is a violin. The characters who could give the film life are the people who own the violin at different places and historical moments, but their transience in the violin's "life" make it difficult to attach ourselves to their plights. And the fortune-teller reading the violin's future is clever for about ten seconds. Also, it's never fully revealed what Charles's motives are; is there any care that he could offer the violin that other suitors can't? The score is quite good, and a project that spans five languages and four countries is admirably ambitious. Overall, the main character being a violin didn't work for me, but I admire the effort.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2012
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Samuel L Jackson is incredibly miscast in The Red Violin in a very unmemorable role in comparison to some of his best. But besides that, this is a fairly effective drama and for me personally, a pleasant surprise. That's not to say it's not flawed in any way. The musical intervels too often interrupt different acts but considering it's audience it does perfectly what it sets out to do. There's also a lot to take pleasure in even if your absolutely clueless when it comes to understanding how a violin works. The geographical locations are beautiful, the period settings are believable, and each member of the huge ensemble cast is engaging and not without interesting and realistic personalities. It is unfortunate that the film itself is never as deep as it wants to be but it's strange how at times it is accidentally brilliant. I cant really remember being dramatically heart broken watching a film in which an inanimate object is thrown onto the floor agressively. I was genuinely surprised at how well the script was written and how good the performances (minus Sam Jackson) were. It isn't one of those cheesy TV period movies by a long shot. Overall though with it's beautiful scenery, it's distinctive characters, and it's soothing if not repetitive score, The Red Violin works impressively as a film. As well as a visual masterpiece to fans of the title instrument.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2012
    'The Red Violin (Le violon rouge)' (1998) features such dramatic undertones from all different geographical places in time. The film has such a luxuriously vibe that it can be very connecting.
    Noah N Super Reviewer

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