The Red Violin
is a historical fiction film following the people that have played an elusive, expertly crafted red violin. The film starts with the creator of the violin in Italy and then proceeds chronologically through four centuries as the violin travels the world and haunts its many owners with beautiful music and constant misfortune.The Red Violin
was made by three production companies from Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom. It was released by Lionsgate in 1998.
This film contain examples of:
- Academy Award: For Best Original Score.
- Actor Allusion: Violinist Joshua Bell, who is world-renowned and played the violin parts on the soundtrack (and thus, most of the characters who play the titular violin were "played" by him), has a cameo as a violinist in the orchestra during Pope's recital. He never actually gets to play the violin in his scene.
- Artifact of Attraction: The Red Violin.
- Auction: The setup for the modern-day portion of the story.
- The Cameo: See "Actor Allusion," above.
- The Casanova: Fredrick Pope.
- Child Prodigy: Kasper Weiss is a violin prodigy.
- Companion Cube: The violin becomes this for a number of its owners.
- Especially Kasper Weiss, who has to sleep with it. When it is taken away, his heart acts up.
- Culture Police: During the Red China portion of the story, most of the main characters are these.
- Dark Secret: Xiang keeping the Red Violin safe, even as she herself is a member of the Culture Police.
- Death by Childbirth: Anna Rudolfi, the wife of the violin maker after her fortune is told.
- Driven to Suicide: Fredrick Pope, after Victoria leaves him and shoots at his violin.
- Grave Robbing: Gypsies unearth the violin after it's buried with Kasper and take it to England.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Kasper Weiss.
- The Hedonist: Fredrick Pope.
- Hey, Wait!: You forgot your coat, Mr. Morritz.
- How We Got Here: About four-fifths of the movie could be considered a prolonged version of this.
- Ill Girl: Kasper Weiss, as a young boy version of this trope with a "weak heart".
- In Medias Res: The auction is shown, and then the pieces for why it is important for several participants in the room are revealed throughout the movie.
- The Muse: Victoria to Fredrick.
- One-Woman Wail: Anna's humming mixed in perfectly with the violin music.
- Powered by a Forsaken Mother: The Red Violin.
- Red China: The fourth portion of the story takes place during the Cultural Revolution when western instruments are outlawed.
- Tarot Motifs: A tarot reading at the start of the movie foretells the rest of the plot of the movie. Accompanied, of course, by …
- Tarot Troubles: Anna's reading is not filled with good omens.
- Title Drop: All over the place, but especially in around the auction.
- Translation Convention: Averted.
- Together in Death: Kasper is buried with the red violin, this is trope soon accompanied by Grave Robbing.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Inspired by The Red Mendelssohn, a violin purchased for $1.7 million with a signature red stripe on its top side.
- Violin Scam: Accomplished by Morritz at the end of the film so that he can keep his once-in-a-lifetime relic.