The Red Violin – the Movie

This Canadian-Italian production of 1998 won a Best Original Score Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language film.

In 1681, an Italian violin maker by the name of Nicolo Bussotti, creates his masterpiece instrument for his unborn son. When his wife dies in childbirth the violin is not yet varnished. He varnishes it the night his wife dies. The varnish has a clear red hue.

The movie plays in Italy, Poland, England, China and modern Canada, as we follow the violin through its life and we watch the many owners over the centuries. They all cherish the violin, yet it gets stolen several times, almost burned, shot and smashed.

The music is heavenly. Rich violin solos accompany us as we observe the lives of those fortunate enough to get to play with this instrument, and we can’t help but marvel at the complexity of its long life. When we see antiques in museums, like old furniture, paintings, articles of clothing and, of course, instruments, we don’t realize how may lives were affected by those objects.

And of course we will never know who all was touched. We can only wonder in awe.

Rating: ****

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