XL Popcorn – The Double Life of Veronique / It’s A Gift

One month in and it is spreading up into my neck from my right arm. Dictated reviews will be continuing until I know more about what I am dealing with.

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”Title: The Double Life Of Veronique (La Double Vie de Véronique )
Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
Year: 1991
Country: Poland/France

With a film like The Double Life Of Veronique it is difficult to know where to begin. I’ve come away from this film feeling bewitched and slightly dazed. It’s one of those films that is incredibly powerful and yet utterly delicate and magical.

The Double Life Of Veronique tells the story of two identical women. The first is Weronika, a Polish girl who has just been discovered by a music school; the other is the Veronique, a French girl who is a music teacher. At the beginning of the film we get a hint of how they are connected, but it is not until the death of one of them that the other feels that something has suddenly gone away.

Both girls are played by Swiss actress Irène Jacob whose delicate touch and warmth must have been a real revelation for director Krzysztof Kozlowski. It is not hard to see how she would have been able to win the Best Actress award at the Cannes film festival in 1991. This film is all about her two roles and there are very few moments where she is off screen, thankfully.

Other than Jacob and her amazing performance, the real triumph of The Double Life Of Veronique is the music. In the film this music is attributed to a fictional Dutch composer, but in real life is the work of Zbigniew Preisner. If you have ever watched Three Colours: Blue then you’ll know his stuff. It is beautiful and, through the associations forged in this film, utterly haunting. This film went from an 8 to a 10 due to the sheer power of the music.

The film on the whole feels like a modern fairy tale. I mean here are two women who are physically and (we assume) intellectually identical. Since they were born on either side of the Iron Curtain they have led similar lives to a point. Having been born in France Veronique displays a lot more independence than her Polish counterpart. I’m sure there there is a similar story in folklore, but the name of it escapes me at this moment.

This is an utterly magical film from a fantastic director.

Its-a-GiftTitle: It’s A Gift
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Year: 1934
Country: USA

Within the first 10 minutes I was already sick of this film. It’s amazing how this film, which is just over an hour long, felt so much longer than The Double Life Of Veronique.

For a comedy film this was just frustrating to watch. I assume that in 1934 some of this could have been seen as original and (maybe) groundbreaking, but nowadays it was just profoundly unfunny. I think it speaks a lot for the film when a toddler is the second billing on the poster.

At no point in this film did I feel like laughing… which means I enjoyed Adam Sandler’s Click more than I did this film. That’s enough said and I’m not going to spend any more breath on this dictation.

Progress: 536/1007

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