A teacher and a gangster meet by chance in a small town pharmacy. As a friendship of sorts develops between these opposite personalities, each starts to envy the other and by the week's end... See full summary »
Twelve-year-old Antoine falls profoundly in love with a voluptuous but suicidal hairdresser, a formative experience he never forgets. Much later in life, he seeks to repeat his romance by ... See full summary »
The only thing more outrageous than French novelist George Sand's torrid love affair with the decadent author Alfred de Musset and her affinity for wearing men's clothing, was the content ... See full summary »
At the age of 20, Martin leaves his home town and comes to Paris, where he fortunately becomes a model by chance. He meets Alice, his brother's friend, and falls in love with her. They ... See full summary »
It's night on a Paris bridge. A girl leans over Seine River with tears in her eyes and a violent yearning to drown her sorrows. Out of nowhere someone takes an interest in her. He is Gabor,... See full summary »
Al and Elsa have been a couple for some time, but the chances that their relationship will be long-lived are few. For one thing, Al is appallingly dependent on Elsa for his every emotional ... See full summary »
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
The title refers in part to the French nickname "veuve" (widow) of the guillotine. Although the French dialogue often uses this word for the device, it is never translated as "widow" in the English subtitles. See more »
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 »
The ancient Greeks, gifted with an abstract way of thinking that was always trying to come down to earth and clothe itself with the commonplace occurrences of everyday life, did not have one all-embracing term for love, a we do, but broke it down into four types: affection (storge), friendship (phileo), sex (eros) and charity (agapao). And probably not since the ancient Greeks has a love story come along which not only divides love into its four types, but also weaves them, with enormous skill, into a single story. The Widow of Saint-Pierre is a love story of the tragic Greek proportions. It's an enormously beautiful movie, a story that gains power with every viewing. And for that reason, it's one of the most remarkable videos I've seen in a very long time.
We've all seen a plethora of films from Hollywood, which basically confine love, and the act of love, to eros. We all know the well-worn script. But what would it look like to view a film in which a relationship expresses all four types of love, and throbbing full force? I would be giving too much away if I were to tell you how these four types of love are rolled up so tightly into a single relationship, but that's exactly what we seen in the liaison between Jean, the Captain (Auteuil) and his wife, Pauline (Binoche). It's intensely interesting, because the performances are pitch-perfect. Even the cowardly bureaucrats, who feel threatened by the captain and his wife, are a picture of cowardly perfection. Their motives are all too human, all too real. But so is the unfathomable love they don't understand, and fear.
One of the things I really appreciate about this film is the way it expresses all forms of love as having boundaries. Jean and Pauline are not clinging vines. What we see is a mature, healthy relationship, each partner respecting the unique characteristics of the other. What a contrast to the infantile clinging vine romances out of Hollywood!
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