The Widow of Saint-Pierre
|The Widow of Saint-Pierre|
|Directed by||Patrice Leconte|
|Produced by||Frédéric Brillion
|Written by||Claude Farraldo
|Music by||Pascal Esteve|
|Edited by||Joëlle Hache|
|Distributed by||Pathé (France)
Film Four (UK)
The Widow of Saint-Pierre (French: La veuve de Saint-Pierre) is a 2000 film by Patrice Leconte with Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil and Emir Kusturica. The film made its North American debut at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival. It was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2001 for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was also nominated in 2001 for two César Awards.
In 1850, on the isolated French island of Saint-Pierre, a murder shocks the natives. Two fishermen are arrested. One of them, Louis Ollivier, dies in custody. The other, Neel Auguste (Emir Kusturica), is sentenced to death by the guillotine. However the island is so small that it has neither a guillotine nor an executioner. While one is sent for, Auguste is placed under the supervision of the army Captain (Daniel Auteuil).
While Auguste is under the captain's care, the wife of the captain, Madame La, (played by Juliette Binoche) takes an interest in the convict and begins to try to redeem him. Under her auspices, Auguste works hard and carries out a number of good deeds for the good of the community. The locals begin to see that he has changed, and Madame La begins a campaign to stop him from being executed. After a year of awaiting execution, Auguste has become a changed man.
When the guillotine finally arrives on the island, none of the islanders wants to be the executioner. However, Auguste remains a condemned man and someone must be found to pull the lever on the guillotine. A newcomer arrives on the island who desperately needs money for his family. He agrees to become the executioner for money and housing, but also takes on the social stigma of being the community's executioner. The guillotine arrives and the townspeople are reluctant to help get it to shore, but once they see Auguste helping to provide money for his family the others take shifts, too. The Captain refuses to take Auguste to his execution and because of this is deemed treasonous and sentenced to death by firing squad. Both of the executions take place and Madame La is shown alone and in mourning.
- Juliette Binoche as Madame La
- Daniel Auteuil as The Captain
- Emir Kusturica as Neel Auguste
- Michel Duchaussoy as The Governor
- Philippe Magnan as President Venot
- Christian Charmetant as Marine officer
- Philippe Du Janerand as Custom officer
Awards and nominations
- 2001 César Awards
- Golden Globe Awards 2001
- Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film
- Sant Jordi Awards 2001
- Winner Best Foreign Actor - Daniel Auteuil
- 22nd Moscow International Film Festival
- Winner Russian Film Critics Award - Best Film
- Nominated for Golden Saint George Award
- Jutra Awards 2001
- Nominated for Best Art direction
Though set in the French colony of St Pierre and Miquelon, the movie was filmed on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The French title La Veuve de Saint-Pierre contains wordplay. "Veuve" translates to "Widow". In the 1800s the word was also slang for a guillotine.
- "The Widow of St. Pierre Box Office Data". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- "The Widow of St. Pierre (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- "22nd Moscow International Film Festival (2000)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Blog referring to the food prepared or the lead actor
- Brown, Susan. "The Widow of Saint-Pierre (La Veuve de Saint-Pierre) (2001) < PopMatters". Retrieved 2010-06-28.