The Widow of Saint-Pierre
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The prisoner is under the control of a Captain, played by Daniel Auteuil. He is deeply in love with his wife, played by Juliette Binoche. There are some tender scenes of their lovemaking as well as scenes in which it is clear that he adores her and respects her in all ways. And so, when she sets out to reform the convicted murderer, he supports her wish. The convicted man is allowed out of his prison cell and accompanies her all over the province. He helps out the townspeople and works with her to plant a garden and learns to read. He even impregnates a local woman and marries her. Everyone in the town grows to admire this man and nobody wants the execution to take place.
What will happen? I was drawn into the story and, along with the townspeople, I too hoped he would eventually get his freedom. But the story is not as simple as that. And, as the tension heightened and moved towards its conclusion, I found myself clearly upset as I saw the way it was going.
This is a good film. The story and acting and cinematography are all excellent. It moved a little too slowly for my taste, however. And I found it hard to believe that the condemned man would be given so much freedom to move around the town. But this doesn't detract from the quality of the film, the empathy I felt throughout for all the characters or the subtleties of characterization that made the story seem real and poignant.
Leconte is a master and quite possibly the greatest living auteur currently making films. His movies often contain a refreshing difficulty that gives one hope that images still mean something, that film is still worthy of being explicated, that someone still cares enough to think that much without being overly clever such as the Coens and Anderson. I shouldn't say still. I should say is and will be, as Leconte is on a different level than any who has ever worked including Kieslowski (the master of images). I enjoy how Leconte has said that although it was his second period piece he approached the film as if that had nothing to do with it, learning from "Ridicule". I should point that out I have no problem with "Ridicule" and the fact that it is a period piece has a great deal to do with the presentation, but I can see what he meant. Like I said, I enjoy the statement, but I should also point out I'm a jerk.
Binoche and Auteuil are two of my favorite actors and this film shows them at their virtuosic best. They deliver amazing performances of a truly passionate couple who both hold unconditional love for the other which in itself contains ultimate trust of decision and character. Possibly more Auteuil's for Binoche's but the sympathy generated by his character fuels her as an equally sharing partner, making any difference negligible. There is a third character, Neel, but he is there only to accentuate the relationship between the other two.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow! This is a unique piece of fine art, the result of an extraordinary and successful team effort. The story is wisely written by Patrice Leconte and Claudio Farraldo and directed... Read morePublished 12 days ago by New Orleans gal
I loved this movie. Good story line ( not predictable) and interesting historic time period in a French colony.Published 24 days ago by mary hepburn
This is more of a historical film rather than a romance but was very interesting and multi-layered. If you enjoy period dramas you will probably like this French film ( subtitles)Published 1 month ago by MikeChick
Great classic style. Very engaging characters, love the support of the caption for his wife enabling a strong female lead. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paula Beitz