Best French Films Home Page

Best French Films Ever.
Top rated French Movies: popular, classic, famous "must watch" Cinema Fançais

41. La double vie de Véronique
The Double Life of Veronique
Polish: Podwójne zycie Weroniki

Best French Films Home Page

 

 

 


Search Best French Films website for keyword(s)

 

The Double Life of Véronique (French: La double vie de Véronique, Polish: Podwójne zycie Weroniki) is a 1991 French- and Polish-language film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, co-written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, starring Irène Jacob, with music by Zbigniew Preisner. The film was Kieslowski's first to be produced partly outside Poland.
A Criterion Collection region 1 DVD was released in November 2006 in the USA and Canada only. It includes an alternate ending which Kieslowski did at the request of Harvey Weinstein of Miramax for the American release.

The film follows the lives of a young woman first in Poland, Weronika, and then a young woman in France, Véronique, both played by Irène Jacob. Though unrelated, the two appear identical, share many personality traits, and seem to be aware of each other on some level, as if they are doppelgängers; but except for a brief glimpse through a bus window in Kraków, they never meet. After Weronika sacrifices everything in the pursuit of a singing career, Véronique abandons her own similar goal because of poor health and attempts to find an independent course for her life, while becoming involved with a manipulative man who is fascinated by clues to her double nature. The man is a puppeteer and maker of marionettes, helping raise the questions that are central to the film: is there such a thing as free will, or is it up to a creator of some kind, or is it just a matter of chance that one acts and thinks as one does?

The film has a strong fantasy element, though the supernatural aspect of the story is never explained. Like the later Three Colors: Blue, it showcased Preisner's musical score as a major plot element, crediting his work to the fictional van den Budenmayer. The cinematography is highly stylized, using color and camera filters to create an ethereal atmosphere; the cinematographer, Slawomir Idziak, had previously experimented with these techniques in one episode of The Decalogue, and Kieslowski would later use color for a wider range of effects in his Three Colors trilogy. Kieslowski had earlier used the idea of exploring different paths in life for the same person, in his Polish film Przypadek (Blind Chance), and the central choice faced by Weronika/Véronique is based on a brief subplot in the ninth episode of The Decalogue.

Film critic Marek Haltof, like many Polish viewers, sees the film as a political allegory in which Weronika represents Poland and Véronique France, or the West: both are highly cultured, but while Véronique is seemingly free to choose her destiny, Weronika's early death represents the sacrifice of Poland during the Second World War and its subsequent incorporation into the Soviet bloc; Véronique senses this loss without realizing what it is, and that she is incomplete without Weronika.
Influential film critic Roger Ebert entered the film to his Great Movies collection in February, 2009. The film got 4-stars (out of 5) rating plus "High Artistic Quality" on www.allmovie.com . At the Internet movie database, the film holds user rating of 7.8 (out of 10), based on 9558 votes . Sete about.com, which specializes on DVD reviews, gave the film 5 of 5 stars in their critical review . The film got favourable rating (3 of 5 stars) on www.bbc.co.uk/films and holds 84 % rating on www.rottentomatoes.com

A Criterion Collection region 1 DVD was released in November 2006 in the USA and Canada only. It includes an alternate ending which Kieslowski did at the request of Harvey Weinstein of Miramax for the American release.

Awards

1991 Cannes Film Festival
.The Double Life of Véronique won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for Krzysztof Kieslowski
Won: Best Actress (Irène Jacob)
Won: FIPRESCI Prize (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Won: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Krzysztof Kieslowski)

Los Angeles Film Critics (USA)
Won: Best Music (Zbigniew Preisner; also for At Play in the Fields of the Lord and Europa Europa)

National Society of Film Critics Awards (USA)
Won: Best Foreign Language Film

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Produced by Leonardo De La Fuente
Written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Starring Irène Jacob
Music by Zbigniew Preisner
Cinematography Slawomir Idziak
Editing by Jacques Witta
Distributed by Miramax (USA)
Release date(s) May 15, 1991
Running time 98 minutes
Country Poland
Language French / Polish

 

Irène Jacob - Weronika/Véronique (with the voice of Anna Gornostaj for Polish dialogue)
Halina Gryglaszewska - Aunt
Kalina Jedrusik - Gaudy Woman
Aleksander Bardini - Orchestra Conductor
Wladyslaw Kowalski - Weronika's father
Guillaume De Tonquédec - Serge
Jerzy Gudejko - Antek
Philippe Volter - Alexandre Fabbri
Bruce Schwartz - Puppeteer
Sandvrine Dumas - Catherine




The titles (in the US) of the best French films, sorted by title


  Title Year
Genre
Director
8 Women2001
Music, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
François Ozon
A Heart in Winter1992
Romance, Drama, Music
Claude Sautet
Beauty and The Beast1946
Fantasy Drama, Romance
Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour1967
Erotic Drama
Luis Buñuel
Betty Blue1986
Romace, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Birds Of A Feather1978
Comedy
Edouard Molinaro
Bitter Moon1992
Sado-masochistic Erotic Drama
Roman Polanski
Breathless1960
Drama, Romance
Jean-Luc Godard
Children of Paradise1945
Drama, Romance
Marcel Carne
10 Cyrano de Bergerac1990
Romance, Drama
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
11 Delicatessen1991
Sci-Fi Comedy
Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
12 Diva1981
Action Thriller, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
13 French Twist1995
Comedy
Josiane Balasko
14 Hidden2005
Drama
Michael Haneke
15 Hiroshima, Mon Amour1959
Romance, Drama
Alain Resnais
16 Jean de Florette1986
Drama, Modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
17 Jesus of Montreal1989
Drama
Denys Arcand
18 Jules et Jim1961
Romance, Drama
François Truffaut
19 La Controverse de Valladolid1992
History (16thC), Drama
Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe
20 La Femme Nikita1990
Crime, Thriller, Romance, Drama
Luc Besson
21 Manon of the Spring1986
Drama, Romance, modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
22 Monsieur Hire1989
Crime Thriller, Romance, Drama
Patrice Leconte
23 My Life in Pink1997
Comedy Drama
Alain Berliner
24 One Swallow Brought Spring2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Christian Carion
25 Queen Margot1994
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, History, Romance
Patrice Chéreau
26 Ridicule1996
History (18thC) Drama
Patrice Leconte
27 Swimming Pool2003
Psychological Thriller, Mystery Drama
François Ozon
28 The 400 Blows1959
Crime Drama
François Truffaut
29 The Big Blue1988
Drama, Romance
Luc Besson
30 The City of Lost Children1995
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
31 The Closet2001
Comedy Drama
Francis Veber
32 The Discrete Charm of the Bougoisie1972
Surreal Black Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Luis Buñuel
33 The Dominici Affair1973
Crime Drama Mystery
Claude Bernard-Aubert
34 The Double Life of Veronique1991
Music, Fantasy, Romance, Psychological Drama
Krzysztof Kieslowski
35 The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
36 The Girl On The Bridge1999
Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Patrice Leconte
37 The Hate1995
Crime, Drama
Mathieu Kassovitz
38 The Last Metro1980
Romance, History (WW2) Drama
François Truffaut
39 The Piano Teacher2001
Drama, Music
Michael Haneke
40 The Reader1988
Mildly Erotic Comedy Fantasy
Michel Deville
41 The Return of Martin Guerre1982
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, Crime, Mystery,
Daniel Vigne
42 The Visitors1993
Fantasy, Comedy
Jean-Marie Poiré
43 Three Colors: Blue1993
Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
44 Three Colors: Red1994
Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
45 Three Colors: White1994
Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski

Sort the best French Films by Title, Year or Director, Select by Genre or search for a Keyword

       
  select country title sort by select genre
 
   
 
       
or
     
 
Search website for keyword(s)
 
 

 
     
     
 
© TFF 2008-10LinksContact