A sprawling epic and a would-be masterpiece, The Red Violin is the story of an ill-fated violin, from the moment it is crafted in 1600s Italy to the day it is sold at auction in millennial Canada. The violin is passed through 1700s Vienna, to an Oxford virtuoso in the 1800s, and on to Mao's China for spell before landing in the lap of Samuel L. Jackson's instrument appraiser. Following the checkered past of such a fateful instrument makes you feel a bizarre sense of connection with it. But ultimately the movie rings a tad hollow -- with contrived plot points and an unbearable and unbelievable finale. But never mind that -- Violin is a grandiose production that should be seen and enjoyed.
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