The Red Violin

Synopsis: In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as "the red violin," is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of "the red violin."
Genre: Drama, Music, Mystery
Director(s): François Girard
Production: Lions Gate
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 19 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min


No. Do it again.

Very good.

Exquisitely worked.

You've crafted a jewel, my boy.

Perfect for a courtesan or priest...

to pluck after supper

In other words...

this violin will never bear my name.

Put your anger into your work, my boy.

Stay with me and learn.

US$ 1 million. US$ 1,600 million.

US$ 1,600 million.

Bid to you all now.

US$ 1,650 million.

US$ 1,650 million.

US$ 1,675 million.

Is that a bid, Sir? Don't be shy.

All right, then I'll take it.

US$ 1,700 million.

US$ 1,725 million. 1,725.

US$ 1,750 million. Thank you.

The bid is US$ 1,750 million.

- US$ 1,775 million on my left.

- Mr. Morritz.

- Please don't let me forget this.

- Was that a bid, Sir? No?

US$ 1,775 million on my left.

Against the telephone now.

Against you, Sir.

US$ 1,775 million.

US$ 1,810? US$ 1,810 million.

US$ 1,850. US$ 1,875 on my left.

In the room. US$ 1,900.

US$ 1,920. In the room.

Yes, I got you, Sir. US$ 1,940.

Not yours, ma'am. Neither of yours.

US$ 1,940 million.

I'll take ten. Do you want back in, Sir?

Is that a yes? No?

The Stradivarius now

at US$ 1,940 million.

US$ 1,950 on my left.

Down to you two. US$ 1,950.

Not yours, Sir? Not yours?

US$ 1,950 million.

All done, then?

Fair warning.

I'm selling now at US$ 1,950 million.

And... sold to the lady on my left.

The last sale of the evening,

lot number 72 on the turntable there.

The star of the night, and...

Where is she?

The last violin

of Nicolo Bussotti, 1681.

A masterpiece of the Golden Age.

And if she will give us the pleasure...

Here she is now, lot 72...

the so-called "Red Violin".

And this time, the last order bid

is at US$ 250,000.

A lot of interest here, of course. Now

let's open, and who will start us off?

US$ 260,000.

Good evening, Mr. Ruselsky.


- Cesca, can you still see the future?

- Are you all right? Sit down.

Did you call me?

I was in the garden.

- I can come here, can't I?

- Of course.

- This is part of my house.

- Of course, Madame.

I have some new amulets

and bones for you.

If your husband spits on them,

it will help.

Are you hungry?

- Don't eat that, it's fish.

- So?

Your child will be slow to learn.

There it is.

I also have some stones for you,

and a key... wear around your neck.

- My husband is tired of spitting.

Spitting's what men are good for.

A father's saliva is

the best thing he can give.

Cesca, tell me my child's future.

- I can't do that.

- Don't worry about my husband.

No, it's not your husband...

I'm simply not able to do it.

I see.

Until the baby is born,

your humors are one.


...I can read your future.

- No, I told you, I'm scared.

Come on, Madame.

Five cards.

It's only the future.

What if it's bad?

I'll pretend not to see it.

Tell me everything.

The Moon.

You'll live a long life, full and rich.

There's... a travel ahead.

I see a long journey.


Leave us.

Close the door.

What is it? Why do you come here

in your condition?

- I know I'll find you here.

- What is it?

- I talked to Cesca.

- And?

- She read my future.

- Cesca! Dear God!

And the birth, she said,

will be very difficult and painful.

They always are.

This is no prediction!

- We are talking about me!

- Why do you listen to Cesca?

She is our servant. I have an excellent

midwife, an astrologer, a doctor.

They'll all be there.

It will be perfect. I know.

- How do you know?

- I know.


I'm so old to be having a baby.

This is a violin.

- It's different.

- I still have to varnish it.

- But there's something...

- It's perfect.

Everything else is just junk,

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Don McKellar

Don McKellar (born August 17, 1963) is a Canadian actor, writer, and filmmaker. He was part of a loosely-affiliated group of filmmakers to emerge from Toronto known as the Toronto New Wave. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Red Violin" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 1 Jul 2022. <>.

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