The Red Violin | Chicago Reader

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Writers Don McKellar and director Francois Girard must be unfamiliar with the conventions of supernatural irony—they seem to imagine there's some mystery in this painfully obvious story about a red-tinted violin that curses everyone who plays it. Linking several vignettes set in different countries and eras by means of two cloying transitional devices—a 17th-century tarot reading for the violin maker's pregnant wife and a 20th-century auction of the instrument—the filmmakers have created a pretentious extended Twilight Zone episode with obscenely high production values. With McKellar, Samuel L. Jackson, Carlo Cecchi, Irene Grazioli, Anita Laurenzi, Jean-Luc Bideau, Christoph Koncz, Jason Flemyng, Greta Scacchi, Sylvia Chang, and Liu Zi Feng. R, 131 min.

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