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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 (30 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 66.57
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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 (30)
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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


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Haunting Feb. 29 2012
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
Drama, Fantasy, Music, 98 minutes, French and Polish Language
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Starring Irene Jacob and Philippe Volter

The Double Life of Veronique sparks all kinds of thoughts, makes me cry, and leaves me feeling like I entered another world.

The film is probably the most beautiful I have ever seen. The color palette is rich and places an emphasis on reds, greens and yellows. There are many instances of images viewed through things which distort reality: a clear plastic ball, mirrors, windows, reflections in glass and also a magnifying glass.

Music is a huge part of the experience, whether it's happening in the story or part of the soundtrack.

The first 30 minutes of the story concerns Weronika. She is Polish and a gifted singer. Weronika is so in tune with life that it's painful. When she sings, there is pure joy visible on her face. She ignores outside distractions such as pouring rain because she's so caught up in the moment. She makes love the same way.

***Spoiler Alert***

Unfortunately, Weronika has a heart problem and drops dead while performing at a recital.

The film switches locations and we find ourselves in France with Veronique. She appears identical to Weronika and both women are played by Irene Jacob. Veronique seems to sense Weronika's death, although she can't pinpoint why she is feeling a sense of loss.

This is a film about connections and feelings. Are we alone in the world or are there people somewhere just like us? Do we share any kind of connection? Is any of this controlled by some higher power, or are events simply random? The "coincidences" in this film are too frequent for everything to be random, aren't they?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great story March 15 2014
By KG
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this movie. The script was well written, the actors were talented, and the cinematography was very well done.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Director K. Kieslowski was not exactly a prolific director, and this makes 'Double Life of Veronique' all the more precious. A young Irene Jacob played the similar roles of two characters, one living in Paris and one in Warsaw. She was just stunning to watch. Like Decalogue, Kieslowski's film makes you think, throughout and after the film. Now this DVD sits nicely next to my Three Colours Trilogy set. I am sure these will continue to provide me with entertainment and food for thought in the years to come.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but Over-rated Nov. 3 2007
Format:DVD
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 actress, the actress herself, and so on. I can't add anything to that. What I can say is that it was this type of commentary that induced us to purchase and watch the film and, while it was interesting, at the end I felt that the alleged messages of the film could have been conveyed more effectively and efficiently and I could have spent my time better reading a book.

My husband is a Polish scientist and we live in France, so we have a certain perspective that embraces both worlds. He wanted to watch this one out of a sense of national solidarity, but his solidarity began to crack about 20 minutes into the film. Like me, he could think of many other things he would rather be doing than watching a Polish director "make love" vicariously to a French actress with a camera.

In short, if you like arty movies that focus on a single character with amorphous plot and dialog designed to produce a sensation of mild confusion, go for it; you won't be disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Jan. 22 2004
Format:VHS Tape
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. Nothing much happens in it. But little that does touches you in a very personal and emotional way. Beautiful, quiet masterpiece of a brilliant director. Definate must see for anyone who likes European cinema.
Red, White and Blue are also wonderful movies by the same director.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars is not enough... June 30 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
There is so much to see, to hear and to understand in this movie. It truely is one of the most gorgeous and intelligent works of the last few decades. However, I am shocked and surprised to see that none of the reviewers understood (or mentionned at least) one of the most defining themes of this film. This is not only the story of two women who share a soul and share a destiny, but in parralel, it is the story of Europe divided. Two Veroniques, one in France, one in Poland. Both separated not only by destiny, but by two political and social systems, by the burden of XXth century European history. Remember this film was made in the late 80's early 90's when the world was changing rapidly in Europe, when the two side where getting to know each other once more. Veronique in Poland, suffering from her poor health, was like Eastern Europe suffering under the oppression and limitations of the communist regimes. Veronique in France discovering she had a part of herself in Poland, was like Western Europe taking consicence of the fact that Europe could not be Europe without its other side behind the Iron curtain. There is so much symbolism in this movie that points towards a larger, more universal and maybe even political message. Another thing that makes this movie so memorable and moving is the absolutely magnificient soundtrack. Rarely has film music acheived such perfection.
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Most recent customer reviews
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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Misterious and excitng
This is a great movie for those who like a great plot that contains
a good story line,that draws you into the scenes that include strong passion and sound
Published on June 26 2002 by PAPA140
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent..Magnifique..Brilliante'
I can not hope to match the elequent words and descriptive nature and which they were spoken in the previous reviews. Nor will I attempt. After all why try to re-invent the wheel. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2001 by Christina
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and too beautiful. Don't miss it.
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 ... Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2001 by Hariharan S.
4.0 out of 5 stars provoking, haunting, surreal
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 ... Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2001 by Hariharan S.
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