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The Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection) (Bilingual) [Import]

Irne Jacob , Wladyslaw Kowalski , Krzysztof Kieslowski    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 64.81
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Criterion Collection: Double Life of Veronique (Version française) [Import] Criterion Collection: Double Life of Veronique (Version française) [Import] 4.6 out of 5 stars (31)
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Product Description

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Filled with reflective surfaces and vivid colors, The Double Life of Véronique marks one of Krzysztof Kieslowski's most haunting films. Just as the director divided his time between his adopted France and his native Poland, the story involves two unrelated women who look exactly alike (both played by Red's Irène Jacob, who won the best actress award at Cannes).

The Polish Weronika, a classical singer with a heart condition, collapses during a performance, after which Kieslowski turns his gaze to the French Véronique, a music teacher who shares the same ailment (much like Kieslowski, who died after cardiac surgery in 1996). Véronique's life follows a similar track, while her affection for Alexandre (Philippe Volter), a puppeteer, suggests the working relationship between the actress and the filmmaker. It's Alexandre, after all, who draws Véronique's attention to the existence of her double (through a photograph she took on a trip to Krakow). In that sense, Kieslowski plays with art as much as identity. Instead of explaining the connection between the characters, he lets the mystery serve as its own reward.

In her commentary, Annette Insdorf (Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski) outlines the reasons she finds the film so metaphysically rich, from the insights into Kieslowski's background to Sawomir Idziak's inventive cinematography. Other extras include interviews with Jacob, Idziak, and composer Zbigniew Preisner; a featurette; a profile of the director; the alternate ending (which feels extraneous); three shorts (the best is 1980's "Railway Station," in which Kieslowski presents a throng of commuters from the perspective of a security camera operator); and an additional short ("The Musicians") about a band of factory workers by his instructor Kazimierz Karabasz. Kieslowski admired this heartfelt portrait for the way it expressed "the human need to create." --Kathleen C. Fennessy



Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and too beautiful. Don't miss it. Oct. 22 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Surreal and too beautiful.
To say this is 'one of the most beautiful movies and Kieslowski is a genius' is stating the obvious. It is a dream and ... who else to dream about, other than the beautiful Irene Jacob!
Irene herself is a dream in this movie as she portrays two gifted look-alike musicians, sharing the names Veronique (in France) and Weronika (in Poland). They share the same ill-health, destiny and sadness. And they share an unknown effect on each other's life, despite being worlds apart. The inexplicable depression that Veronique feels when Weronika dies while performing on a stage, makes you ponder 'whether in my life I too wasn't depressed for some or other inexplicable reasons?' 'Is there another I somewhere concerned about me?' 'Is that why I was sad during that time?' 'Is someone else sharing my sorrows being somewhere in this world?' 'Will I meet him/her sometime? Somewhere?' Yes, unanswerable questions, inexplicable feelings and surrealistic thoughts. That sums up this movie.
There is an excellent sub-plot too, a puppet and its master. It is very symbolic and highly metaphorical. I still don't think I understood it properly. The music is haunting. Like the violin in "Un Couer en Hiver", Veronique's vocal music stikes chord with you. It is enchanting and sad at the same time. Close your eyes and you are drowned in dreams!
Irene Jacob is dreamy and natural, aimless, sympathetic, gorgeous, child-like innocent and sexy at the same time. She definitely deserves all the awards for her stunning double role.
'La double vie de Veronique' comes out with flying colours when compared with Kieslowski's much acclaimed colour trilogy (White, Blue and Red). Watch this movie seriously, you will enjoy it. Thank you Kieslowski!
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4.0 out of 5 stars provoking, haunting, surreal Oct. 18 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Don't miss this.
To say this is 'one of the most beautiful movies and Kieslowski is a genius' is stating the obvious. It is a dream and ... who else to dream about, other than the beautiful Irene Jacob!
Irene herself is a dream in this movie as she portrays two gifted look-alike musicians, sharing the names Veronique (in France) and Weronika (in Poland). They share the same ill-health, destiny and sadness. And they share an unknown effect on each other's life, despite being worlds apart. The inexplicable depression that Veronique feels when Weronika dies while performing on a stage, makes you ponder 'whether in my life I too wasn't depressed for some or other inexplicable reasons?' 'Is there another I somewhere concerned about me?' 'Is that why I was sad during that time?' 'Is someone else sharing my sorrows being somewhere in this world?' 'Will I meet him/her sometime? Somewhere?' Yes, unanswerable questions, inexplicable feelings and surrealistic life. That sums up this movie.
There is an excellent sub-plot too, a puppet and its master. It is very symbolic and highly metaphorical. I still don't think I understood it properly. The music is haunting. Like the violin in "Un Couer en Hiver", Veronique's vocal music stikes chord with you. It is enchanting and sad at the same time. Close your eyes and you are in dreams!
Irene Jacob is dreamy and natural, aimless, sympathetic, gorgeous, child-like innocent and sexy at the same time. She definitely deserves all the awards for her stunning double role.
'La double vie de Veronique' comes out with flying colours when compared with Kieslowski's much acclaimed colour trilogy (White, Blue and Red). Watch this movie seriously, you will enjoy it. Thank you Kieslowski!
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:VHS Tape
"The Double Life of Veronique" [1991: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Director; starring Irene Jacob, Best Actress Award, Cannes Film Festival 1991] is a metaphorically rich and haunting drama. This beautifully filmed story parallels two musically gifted young women [both played by Irene Jacob] with the same first name [Weronika [Polish] / Veronique [French]], mirror images of each other, born on the exact same date in different countries [Poland/France], suffering from like physical frailties, with similar possessions/character traits, who are total strangers whose paths cross briefly only once. Yet each senses the presence of an "unknown other", an overwhelming impression of "not being alone in the world". The subtle affect that these women have on each others' lives - unknowingly and at a distance -- is hauntingly reinforced by the "dreamlike" cinematic attributes of the film. The premise of "The Double Life of Veronique" is that there are undeniable, irrepressible, conscious and subconscious connections and intersecting forces in life that impact us all - transcending and defying distance, time, culture and conventional reason.
There are concentric subplots that emanate from this central story involving various lovers [one is an accomplished, but manipulative puppeteer who creates 2 more "Veroniques" in the form of marionettes], significant emotional events that turn the course of lives and causing individual stories to dissolve/meld into others, strong parental bonds and familial grounding, the power of music/art as a life catalyst.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gave as an Xmas present. Well received.
Published 13 days ago by TJB
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story
I enjoyed this movie. The script was well written, the actors were talented, and the cinematography was very well done.
Published 5 months ago by KG
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great films by Polish director Kieslowski
Director K. Kieslowski was not exactly a prolific director, and this makes 'Double Life of Veronique' all the more precious. Read more
Published 10 months ago by FilmFan2010
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Haunting
The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
Drama, Fantasy, Music, 98 minutes, French and Polish Language
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Starring Irene Jacob and Philippe... Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2012 by Steven Aldersley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
Excellent restoration!
Really better than the original VHS.
Highly recommended.
I hope trilogy will be available soon!
Blue, White and Red.
Published on Oct. 29 2011 by Robert Lachapelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Twin souls
The late director Krzysztof Kieslowski had a magical style, and a subtle way of weaving exquisite stories with light and colour. Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2007 by E. A Solinas
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but Over-rated
There are several things that previous reviewers here have written that are on target as far as the "artsy" nature of the film the nature of the interaction between director and... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2007 by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable
Some movies inexplicably stick to your mind and make you return to them over and over again. Just like "Unbearable lightness of being" this movie posses that quality. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by Annonimous
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointment Came In A p.o. Box
I recieved this movie with excitement only to watch it ith utter disapointment. The movie was completely detached. I prefer to feel the characters not just observe them. Read more
Published on June 16 2003 by Heather Deitchman
5.0 out of 5 stars haunting and beautiful
This is perhaps the most haunting and beautiful film ever shot. Its images breathtaking, and its storyline one of the most ambitious ever. Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2002
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