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The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre) (2000)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 76
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 9

Critics are impressed with The Widow of St. Pierre's intriguing story and beautiful cinematography.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 4

Critics are impressed with The Widow of St. Pierre's intriguing story and beautiful cinematography.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 3,259

My Rating

Movie Info

Long-established director Emir Kusturica makes his acting debut in Patrice Leconte's 19th century tale of a loyal, strong-willed woman who follows her soldier husband to a desolate French territory off the coast of Newfoundland. Madame La (Juliette Binoche) lives in marital bliss on the island of Saint-Pierre with her loving, oddball husband (Daniel Auteuil), simply called "the Captain" by his charges. Their world is upset one night, however, when two visiting sailors on a bender murder a local


Art House & International, Drama

Claude Faraldo

Sep 18, 2001

Lions Gate Releasing - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


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All Critics (89) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (9) | DVD (6)

A work of art that immerses you in a time and place so completely that it could be a documentary.

April 20, 2001
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sad and beautiful.

April 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A compelling French Canadian drama.

April 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film seems to be saying, though, that the taking of a life -- whether by murderers or by the state -- is only possible when we refuse to recognize the humanity in others. And this is a message we all need to hear.

April 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Issues of life and death, love and friendship play out delicately and powerfully.

April 6, 2001 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Few films have set up the contrast between the cruel machinery of human justice and the piercing glory of Christian mercy more starkly and profoundly.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Protagonizando uma história emocionalmente complexa, Binoche, Auteuil e Kusturica conferem peso dramático aos seus personagens, apesar da direção distante de Leconte impedir que o espectador se envolva intensamente com a trama.

September 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

When it comes right down to it, Leconte understands that Binoche's face tells all the story we need.

May 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's a tale about wishy-washy humanitarianism.

April 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews


October 1, 2001 Full Review Source:

Leconte is an expert at his craft and, with his fine cast and crew, continues to please.

May 29, 2001 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Leconte again manages to be one of the filmmakers of any nationality who can create convincing romantic attachments.

May 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Lawrence Journal-World
Lawrence Journal-World

While the outcome of the story may be telegraphed, director Patrice Leconte ("Girl on the Bridge") shrouds his film in many layers of mystery.

May 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews


May 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

An affecting drama.

May 5, 2001 Full Review Source:

Serene and haunting.

May 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Provocative and ultimately moving.

May 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Time spent in the company of such a professional, accomplished director and his marvelous cast is time well spent.

April 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

A lacerating but eerily beautiful story of sin and redemption.

April 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

A small tale with enormous emotional clout.

April 19, 2001
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

An effective, if heavy-handed, tale of redemption and forgiveness.

April 16, 2001 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Engaging and ultimately moving .

April 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Audience Reviews for The Widow of Saint-Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre) (La veuve de Saint-Pierre)

An affirmation of the complexity of women. Here, a guard captain's wife campaigns for the life of a condemned man, knowing that her actions threaten her husband's career and possibly endanger his life. Perplexing behavior indeed but director Patrice Leconte uses it to full effect, adding humanistic elements to what otherwise could have been a listless period piece. An intelligent, insightful film.
July 20, 2010
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Such a sad and hopeless movie. People weren't very nice back in 1849! Hopefully the Widow can find a love in her life again. I was dissapointed Louis didn't live very long.
June 9, 2007

Super Reviewer

A dark, passionate tale of a woman who sets out to redeem a convicted murderer. She succeeds, but at what cost to herself, to the convict himself, and to the colony of St. Pierre? Juliette Binoche is, as usual, radiantly beautiful, compassionate, and firey as the Madame La. Daniel Autiuel plays her husband, La Capitain, as a principled man who throws caution to the wind because of his love for her. A bleak, cold landscape, properly pompous civil authorities, and the squalor of life in a far outpost of the French Republic all gave the film an authentic feel. This viewer hoped for goodness to win out, but expected tragedy, and was not disappointed. Always four stars for Ms Binoche!
June 1, 2009
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

Neel Auguste ( Kusturica) is condemn to death for a murder on the little island of Saint-Pierre, which was, a territory of France. The guillotine( Veuve) is the instrument of death in France at that time. But the island doesn't have its "Veuve" and one is to be sent from Martinique. In the waiting, the convict is kept in prison at the captain's ( Daniel Auteuil) residence. The captain's wife (Binoche) is convinced that the murderer deserves a second chance and she's working towards that goal.

All the performances did a great job, especially Juliette Binoche and Emir Kusturica. Their chemistry is shown so real and keeps the viewer hooked to see what will finally happen.
July 20, 2010
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Widow of St. Pierre (La Veuve de Saint Pierre) (DE)
  • La Veuve De Saint-Pierre (UK)
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