Veronika Decides to Die (film)

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Veronika Decides to Die
VeronikaDecidesToDie USPoster.jpg
Directed byEmily Young
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onVeronika Decides to Die
by Paulo Coelho
Music byMurray Gold[1]
CinematographySeamus Tierney
Edited byÚna Ní Dhonghaíle
  • Future Films
  • Velvet Octopus
  • Das Films
  • Muse Productions
  • Velvet Steamroller Entertainment
  • PalmStar Entertainment
Distributed byEntertainment One Films[2]
Release date
  • August 21, 2009 (2009-08-21) (Brazil)
  • January 20, 2015 (2015-01-20) (United States)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.3 million (foreign)[3]

Veronika Decides to Die is a 2009 American psychological drama film directed by Emily Young from a screenplay by Roberta Hanley and Larry Gross, based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Paulo Coelho.[4] It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar,[5] Jonathan Tucker,[6] Melissa Leo, David Thewlis, and Erika Christensen.[7] While the novel originally takes place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the film is set in New York City.


Although living what looks like a successful life, Veronika is depressed and cannot find meaning in her existence. Intending suicide, she takes an overdose, blaming her attempted suicide on the failure of the world to recognize what is "real". She wakes inside an exclusive and expensive mental asylum only to learn that the overdose has left her prone to an aneurysm that will kill her in a matter of weeks.

At first, Veronika wants only to accelerate the process, and even a visit by her adoptive parents fails to rekindle her will to live. Her parents love her, but while they are prepared to spend their dwindling resources to get her what help they can (not knowing her death is imminent anyway), they do not truly understand her. They discouraged her from accepting a full musical scholarship at Juilliard because they wanted her to get a degree that could earn her a living. They do not see how she despairs at their constraints.

In spite of herself and in spite of her disappointment with her materialistic life, Veronika finds renewed purpose through playing the asylum's piano and through observing and then connecting with the schizophrenic Edward. Not only does she recover her own will to live, Veronika helps Edward come out of his catatonic state, and the pair soon "escape" (Dr. Blake, looking out his window, observes them escaping, but does not send for anyone to bring them back) from the asylum together, determined to enjoy Veronika's final days as a couple.

Veronika does not know that her aneurysm is the invention of her unorthodox psychiatrist Dr. Blake, who is testing his theory that convincing her she has only weeks to live will restore her to health and cure her desire to commit suicide. He explains his treatment through letter to his estranged wife, a colleague from the asylum. As long as she does not know the truth, he theorizes, she will consider each day as if it might be her last and thus treasure it. This is, he notes, actually true, as nobody knows when their end will come.

When Veronika drifts off one morning on a bench at sunrise, Edward believes he has lost her, but his grief transforms to joy when she wakes. Celebrating what they believe might be one more day, the pair embrace and walk happily on the beach in the morning light, laughing and hold hands.



Shooting for the film began on May 12, 2008, in New York City and concluded on June 21. The novel was adapted for film by Muse Productions, Das Films, and Velvet Steamroller Entertainment.[8] It was reported that Kate Bosworth was previously attached to the project.[9]


Veronika Decides to Die had a special screening in Brazil on August 7, 2009, followed by an August 21 release. On its opening weekend, it grossed US$90,455 with 61 screens.[10] The film was released in Poland on October 2, 2009,[11] in Sweden on October 30, 2009,[12] and in South Korea on November 19, 2009.[13] It was released in Argentina on July 1, 2010, in Austria on November 18, 2010, in Germany on September 30, 2010, in Lithuania on April 23, 2010, and in Mexico on September 10, 2010.[3] In Australia, it was released on a region-free PAL DVD. It was never officially released in the United Kingdom.[14]

In the United States, the film was released by Entertainment One Films in select theaters and on VOD on January 20, 2015, and on DVD on March 17, 2015. To promote the release, a scene was shown on The Hollywood Reporter's website in January 2015.[15] That same year, the film was made available on Netflix.


  1. ^ Murray Gold Will Score “Veronika Decides to Die” :: Film Music Magazine
  2. ^ Veronika Decides to Die (2009) - Company credits - IMDb
  3. ^ a b Veronika Decides to Die (2009)
  4. ^ "Veronika Decides to Die". Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  5. ^ "Casting Call for 'Veronika'". Retrieved April 11, 2008.
  6. ^ "Young Hollywood Awards". Interview. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  7. ^ Fleming, Michael (2008-05-16). "Das Films teams for adaptation". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael (2008-05-16). "Das Films teams for adaptation". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (2008-03-13). "Variety Gellar in talks for 'Veronika". Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  10. ^ Brazil Box Office, August 21-23, 2009
  11. ^ Weronika postanawia umrzeć
  12. ^ Veronika-bestaemmer-sig-foer-att-doe
  13. ^ "veronika2009-co-kr". Archived from the original on 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  14. ^ Veronika Decides to Die (2009) - Release Info - IMDb
  15. ^ Sarah Michelle Gellar Rants in 'Veronika Decides to Die' Clip

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