The Red Violin

Director: François Girard Year: 1998 Run Time: 131min
The Red Violin (Le violon rouge) (1998)

Girard and McKellar’s The Red Violin tells the tale of a very special instrument — a perfectly crafted 17th-century violin finished with a mysterious red glaze. The final masterpiece of a virtuoso craftsman, the violin sits in a Montreal auction house waiting to be sold.

As the auction proceeds, the violin’s history is revealed through four interconnected tales spanning 300 years. And as it passes through the hands of musicians in Italy, Vienna, London and Shanghai, the violin fills its owners’ lives with romance, adventure, intrigue and tragedy. At the centre of the story is the instrument’s dark secret, which is revealed only at the film’s suspenseful finale.

“In a time of timid projects and easy formulas, The Red Violin has the kind of sweep and vision that we identify with elegant features from decades ago.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Staff Pick:

"Like a time travel movie of a musical mythology that spans the globe." —Dani


François Girard


Don McKellar, François Girard


Niv Fichman


Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Flemyng, Colm Feore, Greta Sacchi, Sylvia Chang




English, Dubbed in French




The Red Violin is filmed and set in part in Ontario. François Girard is from Quebec.

Ratings by Province:

14A Alberta
PG British Columbia
PG Manitoba
14 New Brunswick
PG Newfoundland and Labrador
14 Nova Scotia
14A Northwest Territories
14A Nunavut
AA Ontario
14 Prince Edward Island
G Québec
PG Saskatchewan
PG Yukon