Three Colors: Red
Drama | French with English subtitles | 99 minutes
While Valentine Dussaut, a college student and part-time model, is driving home, she accidentally hits and wounds a Belgian Malinois dog. She tracks down the owner, Joseph Kern, a retired judge living in seclusion in a suburban home near Geneva. Kern seems indifferent and asks Valentine to care for the dog, Rita. Valentine takes Rita to the veterinarian where the dog is treated. Valentine is also told Rita is pregnant. On her next visit, Valentine becomes aware that Kern, using sophisticated technology, has been eavesdropping on a male neighbor’s sexual conversations with his male lover. Valentine is outraged that Kern is violating the privacy of his neighbor. Kern tells her that spying will make no difference to the final outcome. One day, Kern writes a letter to his neighbor and the court confessing to his spying activities. Valentine then informs Kern that she purchased a ticket on the ferry for England, to see her boyfriend. She will see him in three weeks and asks him to save one of Rita’s puppies for her. Kern subsequently reads that there was a huge storm in the English Channel and the ferry boat capsized. Only seven passengers survived. Kern fears the worst.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
- Metacritic Score: 100
- Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Director (Kieslowski); Best Screenplay (Kieslowski); Best Cinematography (Piotr Sobocinski)
- Golden Globes: Nominated, Best Foreign Language Film
- César Awards, France: Winner, Best Film; Best Actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant); Best Actress (Iréne Jacob)
- National Society of Film Critics: Winner, Best Film; Best Director (Kieslowski)
- New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
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In this final installment of a glorious trilogy, Kieslowski has saved his greatest for last. RED is a deeply affecting cascade of romantic fate and suffering, of karma and multiple irony. As for the performances they couldn’t be better. Trintignant is magnificent as the spiritually transformed judge. And Iréne Jacob is as serene as ever.
Seeing a movie like RED, we are reminded that watching many commercial films is the cinematic equivalent of reading Dick and Jane. The mysteries of everyday life are so much deeper and more exciting than the contrivances of the plots. RED is the kind of film that makes you feel intensely alive while you are watching it and sends you into the streets afterwards eager to talk deeply and urgently to the person you are with. Whoever that happens to be.
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