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The Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection) (1991)

Cast: Irène Jacob, Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, more...
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Kieslowski
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance, France, Fantasy, Criterion Collection
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
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. ~ Anthony Reed, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection) (1991)
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7.30 (66 votes)
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The Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (1991)
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6.12 (8 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

I got to savor every scene by tungwaiyip December 5, 2006 - 1:42 PM PST
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1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
15 years has passed since I first saw The Double Life of Veronique on screen, its DVD has finally released. Not only am I able to experience the cinematic magic again, I got to savor every single scene from this film.

The story is enigmatic. Irene Jacob plays both the Pole Weronika and the French Véronique. They were thought to be connected, in many small and subtle ways. There was never any attempt to explain the mystery. Instead, it is a story to perceive intuitively.

The world looks very novel through Kieslowski's eye. In his film we come to see and appreciate all the little magic of lights and reflections and the warm golden glow. Both Weronika and Véronique are musicians. The whole film is accopmany by the fantastic music score, not as a background music, but as a central theme that drives the film.

It is truly a masterpiece from the 90s.

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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
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This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
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Meditative
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flicks that bring you to contemplation long after they has ended
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