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The Widow of Saint-Pierre (2000)
"La veuve de Saint-Pierre" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 April 2001 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,690 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 69 user | 61 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

In a small French colony, a drunken man kills someone. While a guillotine is being shipped in, he changes, becoming a good and popular man.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pauline (Madame La)
...
Jean (The Captain)
...
Ariel Neel Auguste
Michel Duchaussoy ...
The Governor
Philippe Magnan ...
President Venot
Christian Charmetant ...
Supply and Secretariat Officer
Philippe du Janerand ...
Customs Officer
Maurice Chevit ...
The Governor's Father
Catherine Lascault ...
La Malvilain
Ghyslain Tremblay ...
Monsieur Chevassus
Reynald Bouchard ...
Louis Ollivier
...
Soldier Loïc
...
The Rear Admiral
Dominique Quesnel ...
The Proprietor
Anne-Marie Philipe ...
The Governor's Wife
Edit

Storyline

In 1849, in the Archipelago of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, the drunken Ariel Neel Auguste and his partner Louis Ollivier kill for a futile motive (to see if he is fat or just big) the fishing boat captain Coupard. Nell, who stabbed the victim, is sentenced to die with his head severed in the guillotine while Louis is sentenced to hard labor. During the transportation to the prison under the custody of Captain Jean, there is an accident and Louis dies. While spending his days in the cell waiting for the guillotine and the executioner, Neel is invited by the captain's wife Mrs. Pauline to help her in her garden and becomes her protégé. Later he has a process of rehabilitation helping the locals in minor works and becomes very popular in the island. When he saves the building Café du Nord and her owner from sinking in the sea, his popularity increases and nobody but the governor and politicians of the council wants his death. Neel marries Eleontine Jeanne-Marie, but sooner he is informed ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story of revenge and redemption, fear and forgiveness, and the true meaning of love.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality and brief violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Viúva de Saint-Pierre  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$31,702 (USA) (2 March 2001)

Gross:

$3,058,380 (USA) (27 July 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ship that brought the guillotine from Martinique was played by the Gazela Primiero, a Portuguese fishing vessel which now lives at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. See more »

Goofs

When Neel is told he's strong enough to "ramer jusqu'au chez les Anglais", the English subtitles say "row over to Canada" rather than "row over to the English". This introduces an error: both the geography and the dialogue in other scenes make it clear that Newfoundland is meant, but Newfoundland wasn't part of Canada until 1949. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful Story of Rehabilitation and Intolerance
8 September 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1849, in the Archipelago of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, the drunken Ariel Neel Auguste (Emir Kusturica) and his partner Louis Ollivier (Reynald Bouchard) kill for a futile motive (to see if he is fat or just big) the fishing boat captain Coupard (Michel Daigle). Nell, who stabbed the victim, is sentenced to die with his head severed in the guillotine while Louis is sentenced to hard labor. During the transportation to the prison under the custody of Captain Jean (Daniel Auteuil), there is an accident and Louis dies. While spending his days in the cell waiting for the guillotine and the executioner, Neel is invited by the captain's wife Mrs. Pauline (Juliette Binoche) to help her in her garden and becomes her protégé. Later he has a process of rehabilitation helping the locals in minor works and becomes very popular in the island. When he saves the building Café du Nord and her owner from sinking in the sea, his popularity increases and nobody but the governor and politicians of the council wants his death. Neel marries Eleontine Jeanne-Marie, but sooner he is informed that the ship Marie Galante has just left Martinique bringing a guillotine. Now the Governor and politicians need to find an executioner in the population to execute the sentence.

"La Veuve de Saint-Pierre" is a beautiful dramatization of a story of rehabilitation and intolerance. I do not know whether this event is partially true or not – there are references in Internet to this story but in sites that I can not trust – but this movie is wonderful. The story and screenplay are engaging and very well written with powerful lines; the direction of Patrice Leconte and the performances are top- notch, with Juliette Binoche extremely beautiful and elegant as usual and showing a magnificent chemistry with Daniel Auteuil; the cinematography and costumes are wonderful. Based on my adjectives, it is unnecessary to say that I loved this movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Viúva de Saint-Pierre" ("The Widow of Saint-Pierre")


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