Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: Le Violon Rouge
Canada/Italy/United Kingdom, 1998. Rhombus Media, Mikado Film, New Line International, Channel Four Films, Canada Television and Cable Production Fund, Telefilm Canada – Equity Investment Program, CITY-TV, Bravo Arts Channel, Filmfonds Wien, Sony Classical, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Red Violin Productions Ltd., Sidecar Films & TV. Screenplay by Don McKellar, Francois Girard. Cinematography by Alain Dostie. Produced by Niv Fichman. Music by John Corigliano. Production Design by Francois Seguin. Costume Design by Renee April. Film Editing by Gaetan Huot.
Four stories of various eras and cultures surround the solitary figure of a violin steeped in its own turbulent history. Samuel L. Jackson plays an art collector in modern day Montreal interested in discovering the true tale behind the violin’s fame, and in doing so helps deliver a contemplation on art and its relationship with commerce. Some of the violin’s stories really work (the woman for whom the violin was made, its adventure in the Chinese cultural revolution), some of them really don’t (Jason Flemyng as a musician in love with Greta Scacchi). At times it is inspired, at times it’s pretty boring, but it’s always gorgeous and the musical score is divine.
Academy Award: Best Original Score
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Toronto International Film Festival: 1998