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Double Life Of Veronique
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Double Life Of Veronique

4.0 9
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Aleksander Bardini

Cast: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Aleksander Bardini

 

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The Double Life of Véronique is the story of two young women who are -- in some mysterious and irresolvable way -- the same woman leading two different yet interconnected lives. Those familiar with Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's later "Three Colors" trilogy of Blue, White, and Red will recognize his fascination with accidental

Overview

The Double Life of Véronique is the story of two young women who are -- in some mysterious and irresolvable way -- the same woman leading two different yet interconnected lives. Those familiar with Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's later "Three Colors" trilogy of Blue, White, and Red will recognize his fascination with accidental happenings and chance encounters, as well as Irène Jacob (from Red) whose performance as both Veronika and Veronique won the 1991 Cannes Film Festival award for best actress. Veronika and Véronique are born on the same day in 1966, one in Poland, the other in France. They grow up separately, unaware of each other's existence, but with the vague and rarely expressed feeling that they are "not alone." The story begins in Poland, where Veronika (like Véronique) is a talented vocalist and music student who wins a prestigious singing competition and is given the chance to perform with a local symphony. On the night of the concert, while singing a duet onstage, Veronika loses consciousness and dies. Véronique is emotionally wounded by the loss of her double and decides to end her singing career. The film charts the effect of Veronika's death on Véronique and on her dispassionate and unsatisfying relationships with men, especially her father. She is led to puppeteer and children's book author Alexandre Fabbri (Philippe Volter), whose puppet shows and stories are dramatic variants on her own mysterious problem. While looking through photographs of Véronique's trip to Poland, Fabbri discovers a picture of Veronika walking through a student demonstration in Kracow. He shows the picture to Véronique, who intuits the significance of Veronika's perfect likeness to herself.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Polish master Krzysztof Kieslwoski's most ravishing film is an ethereal rhapsody grounded in the resolutely sensual presence of its lead, Irene Jacob. With its oblique story line, cryptic rhyming patterns, and focus on mood and tone, this elusive movie is more poem than narrative. Slawomir Idziak's shimmering cinematography gives the movie a spectral sheen, perfectly conveying the rich and shifting mysteries of coincidence, fate, and human connection Kieslowski explores. The movie bears more than a passing resemblance to Kieslowski's final film, Red, yet another movie that evinces the filmmaker's obsession with fraternity, not to mention Irene Jacob's face. Mostly captivating, Double Life's metaphysical meditation occasionally verges on silly self-absorption; at its worst, the movie's solemn search for profundities could almost be a parody of European artiness. Even at its most dubious though, the movie is unfailingly alluring; its golden, lambent beauty remains rapturous throughout. Lyrical and elliptical, the movie can also be read simply as an ode to its lead: Jacob's Veronique is clearly an idealized projection of feminine perfection, so perfect that Kieslowski had to make two of her. Muse and artist were rewarded equally upon the film's release, as the movie won Jacob a Best Actress award at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival and garnered Kieslowski the best reviews of his career at the time.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/21/2006
UPC:
0715515020725
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:37:00

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary by Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski; Three short documentary films by Kieslowski: Factory (1970), Hospital (1976), and Railway Station (1980); The Musicians (1958), a short film by Kieslowski's teacher Kazimierz Karabasz; The U.S. ending; New and improved English subtitle translation; Kieslowski - Dialogue (1991), a documentary featuring a candid interview with Kieslowski and rare behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Double Life of Véronique; 1966-1988: Kieslowski, Polish Filmmaker, a 2005 documentary tracing the filmmaker's work in Poland, from his days as a student through The Double Life of Véronique; New video interviews with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak and composer Zbigniew Preisner; A 2005 interview with actress Irène Jacob; A booklet featuring essays by Jonathan Romney, Slavoj Zizek, and Peter Cowie and selections from Kieslowski on Kieslowski

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Irène Jacob Weronika/Veronique
Wladyslaw Kowalski Veronika's Father
Aleksander Bardini Orchestra Conductor
Guillaume de Tonquedec Serge
Sandrine Dumas Catherine
Claude Duneton Veronique's Father
Philippe Volter Alexandre Fabbri
Halina Gryglaszewska Aunt
Jerzy Gudejko Antek
Kalina Jedrusik Gaudy Woman
Louis Ducreux Professor
Philippe Campos Nicole Pinaud
Alain Frerot Mailman
Youssef Hamid Railway Man
Wanda Kruszewska Lucyna Zabawa
Bernadetta Kus Pauline Monier
Jacques Potin Man with Grey Coat
Boguslawa Schubert Woman with Hat
Jan Sterninski Lawyer
Dominika Szady Beata Malczewska
Jacek Wojcicki Barbara Szalapa
Thierry deCarbonnieres Professor
Lorraine Evanoff Claude
Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus Jean-Pierre
Chantal Neuwirth Receptionist
Nausicaa Rampony Nicole

Technical Credits
Krzysztof Kieslowski Director,Screenwriter
Leonardo de la Fuente Producer
Bernard P. Guiremand Executive Producer
Slawomir Idziak Cinematographer
Patrice Mercier Production Designer
Krzysztof Piesiewicz Screenwriter
Zbigniew Preisner Score Composer
Jacques Witta Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Double Life of Véronique: The Film
1. Looking [3:18]
2. Song and Passion [5:46]
3. Train to Krakow [4:19]
4. Protest in the Square [2:26]
5. Audition [4:56]
6. Antek [4:16]
7. The Concert [4:15]
8. "I'm Quitting" [6:26]
9. Marionettes and Violins [5:11]
10. "Hang Up First" [5:00]
11. Helping Out a Friend [6:22]
12. The Puppeteer's Story [5:46]
13. Dad's Fragrances [3:32]
14. Mysterious Cassette [5:08]
15. Following the Clues [7:02]
16. Véronique Flees [4:11]
17. Hotel Refuge [3:46]
18. The Contents of Her Life [7:00]
19. Véronique's Double [4:12]
20. The Return [4:30]
1. A Meditation on Filmmaking [3:18]
2. Idziak/Visual Rhyming [5:46]
3. Questioning/Music [4:19]
4. Not Political [2:26]
5. Bardini/Dark Humor [4:56]
6. Zbigniew Preisner [4:16]
7. Van Den Budenmayer [4:15]
8. Intuition and Yearning [6:26]
9. The Puppeteer/Transformation [5:11]
10. A Weak Heart/Clues [5:00]
11. Down-to-Earth/Light [6:22]
12. Metaphysical/Documentaries [5:46]
13. Irène Jacob [3:32]
14. Technology [5:08]
15. Communism and After [7:02]
16. Heightened Perception/Versions [4:11]
17. Unease in Romance [3:46]
18. Enabled to See [7:00]
19. Collaboration/Doubles [4:12]
20. U.S. Ending/Uncertainty [4:30]
Disc #2 -- The Double Life of Véronique: The Supplements
1. Universal Themes [6:37]
2. Editing, Writing, and Casting [7:40]
3. Childhood/Documentaries [10:00]
4. Communication/Close-Knit Group [10:47]
5. Censorship/Collaboration [9:23]
6. Responsibility [8:10]
1. Communist Poland [5:24]
2. Documentary Beginnings [5:20]
3. Moral Concern [6:25]
4. Hope and Disillusion [7:49]
5. Decalogue and Epilogue [5:38]

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