Red Violin, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

This very unique, sometimes intriguing story, tells the tale of a famous fictional violin produced in Italy in 1681 which ends up in the hands of various persons around the world. And the stories are interspersed with an auction of the violin in modern times in Montreal, Canada. It starts in Italy where the violin is crafted and eventually given to the talented son of the craftsman (Christoph Konez) who suffers an unfortunate experience with the violin. The scene switches to England where a famous violinist (Jason Flemyng) is giving concerts with the red violin. But he too has a traumatic experience, this time at the hands of a jilted lover. Then the violin finds its way to Shanghai where a Chinese lady (Sylvia Chang), who loves western classical music, buys the violin. She soon finds herself in a harrowing confrontation with Chinese Communist activists and soldiers. The dramas all come to a surprise ending as a modern day scheming violin restorer (Samuel Jackson) gets interested in the violin. The films acting, elaborate sets and lush scenery are superb, but overall the film has a rather heavy, melancholy feel to it. And its very uniqueness will likely confine it to a rather select, sophisticated audience.

Much of the film takes place in rather genteel surroundings, but some foul language finds its way into the dialogue, particularly in Montreal where a tardy violin buyer spouts some regular profanities and an obscenity. Sexual sounds are heard outside the dressing room of the amorous violin virtuoso, and hes seen in two passionate scenes of implied sex with two different women, containing brief female rear and breast nudity. Hes also seen once lying almost nude in bed, as well as in a bedroom scene lying almost nude with a female lover. Happily, violence is very limited, but a gun shooting is shown and some property is destroyed. A respect for religion is displayed when a small boy prays before going to bed and monks in a monastery lovingly care for orphans. Some occultic mysticism is imbedded in the story as an old woman tells the fortune of another woman with tarot cards. Although the overall theme of the film is decent, its language and explicit sex scenes destroy its acceptability.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Lion Gate Films, 561 Broadway, Ste. 12 B, NY, NY 10012

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - All moderate

Obscene Language: Once (no f or s words)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular (GD 2, For Gods Sake)

Violence: Few times - Moderate (Man shot, violin and phono records destroyed)

Sex: Few times - Implied (Sexual sounds heard through door, implied in passionate embracing scenes with female rear and breast nudity)

Nudity: Few times (Brief female rear and side breast nudity, brief full breast nudity; Near nudity - Few times (Man and woman lying on bed almost nude, but no genitals shown)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - Moderate (Passionate kissing, womans hand in mans pants, sexual sounds)

Drugs: Few times (wine drinking, man smokes Chinese dope)

Other: Respect for religion, man drains blood from dead wifes wrist, fortune telling

Running Time: 131 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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