The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre) (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre)2000

The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre) (2000)



Critic Consensus: Critics are impressed with The Widow of St. Pierre's intriguing story and beautiful cinematography.

The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre) Photos

Movie Info

Long-established director Emir Kusturica makes his acting debut in Patrice Leconte's 19th century tale of a loyal, strong-willed woman who follows her soldier husband to a desolate French territory off the coast of Newfoundland. Madame La (Juliette Binoche) lives in marital bliss on the island of Saint-Pierre with her loving, oddball husband (Daniel Auteuil), simply called "the Captain" by his charges. Their world is upset one night, however, when two visiting sailors on a bender murder a local citizen. Neel (Kusturica) is sentenced to death, but the other one dies in a carriage accident before reaching prison. As the island waits for a guillotine (or "widow") to be shipped from the French government, Madame La does her best to convince the townspeople that Neel is genuinely good of heart and doesn't deserve a bloody fate. La Veuve de Saint-Pierre marks the second time that Auteuil has worked with director Leconte: their first effort, La Fille Sur la Pont, earned him a Best Actor award at the Cesars, France's equivalent to the Academy Awards. La Veuve screened at the 2000 Cannes and Toronto film festivals.

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Emir Kusturica
as Neel Auguste
Michel Duchaussoy
as The Governor
Philippe Magnan
as President Venot
Philippe Du Janerand
as Customs Officer
Reynald Bouchard
as Louis Ollivier
Yves Jacques
as Rear Admiral
Maurice Chevit
as Governor's Father
Ghyslain Tremblay
as M. Chevassus
Catherine Lascault
as La Malvilain
Dominique Quesnel
as The Proprietor
Anne-Marie Philipe
as The Governor's Wife
Isobelle Spade
as President Venot's Wife
Arianne Mallet
as Governor's Child
Julian Gutierrez
as Governor's Child
Sylvie Moreau
as Adrienne
Genevieve Cocke
as Washhouse Woman
Manon Gauthier
as Washhouse Woman
Marianne C. Miron
as Mme. Chevassus
Michel Daigle
as Father Coupard
Luc Geurin
as Captain Dumontier
Niel Kroetsch
as Captain of the Marie Galante
Sylvain Eluau
as Captain Goelette/Raymond Cloutier, the Adjutant
Patrick Steltzer
as The Brigadier
Patrick Caux
as Young Soldier
Bernard Tanquay
as The Orderly
Martin Laroque
as Town Crier
Boris Napes
as Assessor
Yvon Roy
as Granjean
Luc Proulx
as Cafe Customer
Kendall Negro
as The Child
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Critic Reviews for The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre)

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (33)

A work of art that immerses you in a time and place so completely that it could be a documentary.

April 20, 2001

Sad and beautiful.

April 13, 2001 | Full Review…

A compelling French Canadian drama.

April 13, 2001 | Full Review…

The film seems to be saying, though, that the taking of a life -- whether by murderers or by the state -- is only possible when we refuse to recognize the humanity in others. And this is a message we all need to hear.

April 6, 2001

Issues of life and death, love and friendship play out delicately and powerfully.

April 6, 2001 | Full Review…

Richly rewarding and powerfully argued.

April 5, 2001

Audience Reviews for The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre)

An affirmation of the complexity of women. Here, a guard captain's wife campaigns for the life of a condemned man, knowing that her actions threaten her husband's career and possibly endanger his life. Perplexing behavior indeed but director Patrice Leconte uses it to full effect, adding humanistic elements to what otherwise could have been a listless period piece. An intelligent, insightful film.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Neel Auguste ( Kusturica) is condemn to death for a murder on the little island of Saint-Pierre, which was, a territory of France. The guillotine( Veuve) is the instrument of death in France at that time. But the island doesn't have its "Veuve" and one is to be sent from Martinique. In the waiting, the convict is kept in prison at the captain's ( Daniel Auteuil) residence. The captain's wife (Binoche) is convinced that the murderer deserves a second chance and she's working towards that goal. All the performances did a great job, especially Juliette Binoche and Emir Kusturica. Their chemistry is shown so real and keeps the viewer hooked to see what will finally happen.

Daisy  Maduro
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

A dark, passionate tale of a woman who sets out to redeem a convicted murderer. She succeeds, but at what cost to herself, to the convict himself, and to the colony of St. Pierre? Juliette Binoche is, as usual, radiantly beautiful, compassionate, and firey as the Madame La. Daniel Autiuel plays her husband, La Capitain, as a principled man who throws caution to the wind because of his love for her. A bleak, cold landscape, properly pompous civil authorities, and the squalor of life in a far outpost of the French Republic all gave the film an authentic feel. This viewer hoped for goodness to win out, but expected tragedy, and was not disappointed. Always four stars for Ms Binoche!

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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