Cinema: The Widow Of Saint-Pierre

Directed by Patrice Leconte

The French word veuve (widow) also means guillotine. In 1850 a killer (Emir Kusturica) is condemned to death by guillotine, on an island where there is no such device; the local captain (Daniel Auteuil) must send away for one. Meanwhile, the killer ingratiates himself with the townsfolk, especially the captain's wife (Juliette Binoche). Issues of life and death, love and friendship play out delicately and powerfully. Binoche is especially subtle and radiant in another splendid drama from Leconte.

--By Richard Corliss


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!