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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 ... 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...
Published on Oct. 22 2001 by Hariharan S.

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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 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...
Published on Nov. 3 2007 by Laura Knight-Jadczyk


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5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and too beautiful. Don't miss it., Oct. 22 2001
By 
Hariharan S. (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India / Seattle, WA, US) - See all my reviews
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
By 
Hariharan S. (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India / Seattle, WA, US) - See all my reviews
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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXPLORATION OF MYSTERIOUS SENSIBILITIES & PRESENTIMENTS, Sept. 20 2001
By 
"lutian_j" (BELLEVUE, WA United States) - See all my reviews
"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.
The gold light that permeates this film, occasional blurred imagery of memory flashbacks and the sequences with the "mariposas de luz" [flickering butterflies of light from mirror reflections] truly conjure a dream-state aura that at times borders on the supernatural. The various symbolic threads in the film [death/renaissance, kaleidoscopic perspectives on life, the two young women as political emblems of the European community, the poetic symbolism of a ballerina puppet who transforms into a butterfly, etc.] rock the collective unconscious of the viewer - allowing the imagination to wander. The musical backdrop for the film serves as a leitmotif that links both the Polish and French sequences with an indomitable spirit and awe. "The Double Life of Veronique" pre-dates Kieslowski's Red, White and Blue Trilogy [1994] - and could easily be re-titled "Gold" in the director's creative alchemical spectrum of films.
In interviews, Kieslowski revealed that he created different endings for the film for different cultural audiences - further reinforcing the "multiple" dimensions of his concept. I found the film to be sensorially and thematically stunning - and the acting superb. If you don't mind reading subtitles, or already understand Polish and/or French, appreciate this type of out-of-the mainstream, esoteric genre, and don't have the compulsive need to have every question explicitly resolved - I highly recommend this film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but somewhat unaffecting, July 24 2000
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal/NorCal/Maui) - See all my reviews
Much of this is an adoration of French actress Irène Jacob byDirector Krzysztof Kieslowski; in a sense it is a homage to her, oneof the most beautiful actresses of our time and one of the most talented. If you've never seen her, this is an excellent place to begin. She has an earnest, open quality about her that is innocent and sophisticated at the same time so that everything a man might want in a young woman is realized in her. Part of her power comes from Kieslowski himself who has taught her how she should act to captivate. He has made her like a little girl fully grown, yet uncorrupted, natural, generous, kind, without pretension, unaffected. She is a dream, and she plays the dream so well.
The movie itself is very pretty, but somewhat unaffecting with only the slightest touch of blue (when the puppeteer appears by the curtain, the curtain is blue, and we know he is the one, since she is always red). The music by Zbignew Preisner is beautiful and lifts our spirits, highlighted by the soprano voice of Elzbieta Towarnicka. But the main point is Irène Jacob, whom the camera seldom leaves. We see her from every angle, in various stages of dress and undress, and she is beautiful from head to toe. And we see her as she is filled with the joy of herself and her talent, with the wonder of discovery and the wonder of life, with desire, and with love.
Obviously this is not a movie for the action/adventure crowd. Everything is subtle and refined with only a gross touch or two (and no gore, thank you) to remind us of the world out there. Véronique accepts the little crudities of life with a generous spirit, the flasher, the two a.m. call, her prospective lover blowing his nose in front of her... She loves her father and old people. She is a teacher of children. She climaxes easily and fully. To some no doubt she is a little too good to be true. And she is, and that is Kieslowski's point: she is a dream. And such a beautiful dream.
An actress playing the character twice in a slightly different way has occurred in at least two other films in the nineties: there was Patricia Arquette in David Lynch's Lost Highway (1997) and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors (1998). It's an appealing venture for an actress of course and when the actress is as talented as these three are, for the audience as well.
Note that as Weronika/Véronique is in two worlds, Poland and France, so too has always been Kieslowski himself in his real life. It is interesting how he fuses himself with his star. This film is his way of making love to her.
Kieslowski died in 1996 not long after finishing his celebrated trilogy, Trois Couleurs: Bleu (1993); Rouge (1994) and Bialy (White) (1994). We could use another like him. END
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and haunting movie!, July 13 2000
By 
Ed N "Ed" (Kensington, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
The Double Life of Veronique is an absolutely stunning film. The director, whose work includes Decalogue and the superb Three Colors Trilogy (Blue, White, and Red), displays a confident tone in his deliberate pacing and the subtle way in which he establishes the mood of this picture. In Irene Jacob (also the star of Red), he finds the perfect leading lady, who has an innocent yet mysterious and beautiful aura which works so well with the tone of this film.
There isn't really a plotline in this movie, but in general, it concerns the lives of two women (Veronique and Veronikka, both played by Irene Jacob) born on the same day but in different countries. Though they lead separate lives, there are parallels drawn in their existence, and their paths cross ever so briefly as the story of one woman dissolves into the story of the second. There is a distinct dreamlike quality to this film, and certainly, mood rather than narrative is the dominant driving force to the film.
Most Americans will consider this film to be a typical European "art house" film. If that is not your cup of tea, then you probably will not like this film, for it is decidedly a non-Hollywood production. Don't even bother trying to compare this film with the recent and remarkably inferior Demi Moore Hollywood film about two similar women living on separate continents; the films are nothing alike. "La double vie de veronique" is an excellent film for those who admire director Kieslowski's films or who have the patience to try something different and enlightening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely beautiful, tipically europian movie, Sept. 29 1999
By A Customer
This movie is one of my all times favorites. I have never seen the movie which offers such a powerful and sad music which is important part of the plot. Irene Jacob is unforgettable playing Veronika and Veronique, two different characters who happen to look exactly alike, yet unaware of each other existence. She very vell deserved the Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival. I will never forget the first time I was watching the movie. I saw it on "Bravo" channel on TV. I did know anything about it and I missed first 15-20 minutes. But when I saw Jacob's face, I realized I did not want to switch the channels. I wanted to look at her and listen to the music and find out what the mystery was behind the images. When the Polish twin, Veronika, died, I could not help crying. The fictional story touched my very soul. We may not realize it, but we are all connected in some ways and there is somebody out there exactly like us. When we feel depressed and sad, maybe it is because our unknown twin is in pain and dispaire. But we do not know that and can not help or do something. In my opinion, this movie is even better than the "Blue - White -Red" trilogy. Thank You, Mr. Kieslowski. You will be always remembered for this movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, Jan. 22 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars My all time favorite- I love this film!, Feb. 8 1999
I love Kieslowski's films, and this one is my favorite. It is a haunting story of the other side, the mysterious moments when we feel a connection to someone that cannot be explained. Is there really another person out there somewhere who is identical to you? This film examines these possibilities with the beauty and style that has made Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy so successful. Irene Jacob is absolutely stunning in this film, an angel capable of expressing emotion with subtle facial expressions, without words. What a shame that Hollywood cannot make a film like this, and a shame that Americans don't demand it. Thank goodness we have the Europeans like Kieslowski! If you like films of introspection, beauty, and mystery, if you like films that leave you with more questions than answers, then I recommend this. If you like car chases and dopey one-liners, this is not for you. It is an experience for the soul!
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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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Kieslowski's masterful precursor to Three Colours, April 11 1999
Before Kieslowski began his brilliant last series of films (Blue, White and Red), he offered us the luminous Irene Jacob in The Double Life of Veronique. Jacob plays two different characters who happen to look exactly alike, yet are unaware that either exists. When one of the twins dies, the other is plunged into an unexplainable depression -- a feeling that part of her life has ended. Only later, in a photograph, does she realize that she accidentally met her "twin". Like the Three Colours series, Kieslowski fills the story with chance meetings and meditations on life and how we live it. Kieslowski was working at the top of his form with the film and the Three Colours. His untimely death means we will never see anything new, but we have this brilliant work to remember him by. Brave Kieslowski.
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