When I watched The Red Violin for the second time a couple of weeks ago, it had been a few years since my first viewing. I can say with certainty that it will not be that long before I watch it again. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I’m thinking about watching it this weekend. With a soundtrack that is captivating, and a story that is filled with twists and turns, The Red Violin is a movie that pulls you in and does not let you go until the very end. In fact, when my most recent viewing ended, I was sad it was over. In my opinion, when a movie makes you feel that way, it’s the sign of an excellent film.
The Red Violin is the story of an infamous and legendary red colored violin, and the path it takes over the course of better than 300 years. The story begins at Duval’s auction house in Montreal, where we see this beautiful instrument being prepared for sale. As the story unfolds, we are taken back in time to see its creation, as well as the many hands it passes through over the years. The violin instills passion in each person who possesses it, and adds to their unique story in unforgettable ways. There are stories of love, despair, unexpected talent, tragedy, lust, and censorship, as the violin passes from person to person, country to country, and even over oceans. We also learn about several of the bidders at the auction in Montreal, why they are there, and the connection each of them has to the violin. In the middle of this storyline is Charles Morritz, portrayed by Samuel Jackson, an appraiser who is brought to the auction house to look at several valuable instruments which are to be auctioned off, including the red violin. Morritz immediately believes the violin to be THE red violin, and goes to great lengths to find out if his assumption is correct. By the end of the movie, we think we know the complex history of the instrument, but Morritz learns one last bit of information which dumbfounds not only him, but us as well.
The Red Violin is a beautiful movie in every way. It could have been nominated for a host of Oscars in my opinion, but the only nomination it received was for Best Original Score, which it did win. The soundtrack, by John Corigliano, features outstanding work by solo violinist Joshua Bell, who was also used as a stand in at times in order to play the complex pieces required during filming. I must say, if you are a music lover, the music in this movie is passionate and emotional, and will make watching The Red Violin even more enjoyable.
The Red Violin is a movie which stirs passions not only in the characters who are involved in the story, but in the viewer as well. Whether it is the beautiful music, the rich storyline, or the superb performances by the cast, this movie is sure to captivate you. I encourage you to watch The Red Violin even if you’ve seen it before, because as I said, for me the second time was even better than the first. Also, feel free to share your opinions and comments. I’m interested to know who else has seen this film, and if others have enjoyed it as much as I have!
Rated R – 130 Minutes