The Widow Of Saint-Pierre (2000)

PATRICE LECONTE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

Original title:  La Veuve De Saint-Pierre

France/Canada, 2000.  Cinémaginaire Inc., Epithète Films, France 2 Cinéma, France 3 Cinéma.  Screenplay by , adaptation by Patrice Leconte.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 2000.  Toronto International Film Festival 2000.  

Strong drama co-produced by Canada and France about a prison warden () and his compassionate wife (Juliette Binoche), living on the French protectorate of St-Pierre off the coast of Newfoundland. They befriend their latest convict (), who is on death row for an inexplicably ridiculous murder. Binoche is excellent as a woman who, upon getting to know Kusturica, finds a good-natured man who is valuable to her society after being befriended by her and all those living near her. The French government wishes to get the accused’s execution on with, but as there is no guillotine anywhere on the island they must all wait until one can be sent over from France and an executioner can be found. Excellent period details and a very fine cast. In French the word veuve can mean both ‘widow’ and ‘guillotine’, giving the original French title an added meaning that the English translation doesn’t have.

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