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La veuve de Saint-Pierre (2000)

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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.

Director:

Patrice Leconte

Writers:

Claude Faraldo, Patrice Leconte (adaptation)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

France | Canada

Language:

French

Release Date:

13 April 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Viúva de Saint-Pierre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,702, 4 March 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,058,380, 29 July 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was to be completely filmed on the island of Saint-Pierre, but when the snow failed to arrive, the production had to move further north to Newfoundland for certain sequences. 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 claudio_carvalhoSee 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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