359. The Double Life of Véronique

Criterion recently announced they would be releasing Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy, so it seems like perfect timing to review the director’s other Criterion title, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VÉRONIQUE. The film begins with two scenes of two little girls speaking two different languages. And that’s how we’re introduced to Weronika and Véronique, complete strangers who are leading oddly connected lives. As adults, both roles are played by Irène Jacob, in a subtle and completely arresting performance. The wandering narrative unfolds like a fairytale, bright and dark and mysterious, and seems to be more interested in themes of love and loneliness than telling any one story. But the cinematography is so beautiful and each moment so carefully painted that the film never loses its focus. It also features one of the most moving scores that I can remember; in fact, it may have inspired me to take up singing again.

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