The Red Violin (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Romantic Drama, Musical Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 11, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 131 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United Kingdom , Italy   |   MPAA Rating - R
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A fascinating and intensely romantic film on the universality of the hunger for beauty, Francois Girard's film displays a taste for novel structures evinced in his previous work 32 Films About Glenn Gould. Using an auction in contemporary Montréal as a framing device, the film traces the path of the instrument from its creation in 17th century Cremona across the continents, as it touches the lives of a wildly diverse group of owners, not unlike Max Ophuls' La Ronde or Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Jason Flemyng and Greta Scacchi are wonderful as a couple capable of making love while he plays the singular violin, as is Sylvia Chang in the harsh Shanghai segment. Samuel L. Jackson, cast against type, also excels as the violin connoisseur on hand to observe the auction. The sumptuous art direction of Francois Segin takes center stage echoing the work of the artists of the film's various eras, and is well served by the brilliant camerawork of Alain Dostie. In sum, the The Red Violin is yet another step in a directorial career well worth watching.