The Red Violin

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The Red Violin ★★½ Le Violon Rouge 1998 (R)

Spans 300 years in the life of one famed musical instrument that winds up in present-day Montreal on the auction block. Crafted by the Italian master Bussotti (Cecchi) in 1681, the red violin derives its unusual color from the human blood mixed into the finish. With this legacy, the violin travels to Austria, England, China, and Canada, leaving both beauty and tragedy in its wake. Most of the vignettes are dull, with the Montreal-set framing story holding the most interest. 131m/C VHS, DVD . CA Samuel L. Jackson, Don McKellar, Carlo Cecchi, Irene Grazioli, JeanLuc Bideau, Jason Flemyng, Greta Scacchi, Christoph Koncz, Sylvia Chang, Colm Feore, Monique Mercure, Liu Zi Feng; D: Francois Girard; W: Don McKellar, Francois Girard; C: Alan Dostie; M: John Corigliano. Oscars '99: Orig. Score; Genie '98: Art Dir./Set Dec., Cinematog., Costume Des., Director (Girard), Film, Screenplay, Score.