Waiting for a guillotine to be shipped to the isolated fishing island of St. Pierre where he is colonial chief of the guard, a Captain (Auteuil) keeps a close watch on murderer Neel (Kusturica), who's condemned to die. But his beloved, progressive-minded wife (Binoche) takes to the idea of reforming Neel. Once that's accomplished, she tries to convince the community that his death would be a travesty.
Why we love it
Eerie, absorbing, and psychologically complex, Leconte's masterful "St. Pierre" boasts superb performances from Binoche, Auteuil, and Yugoslavian filmmaker Kusturica ("Underground"), here making his acting debut. The mid-19th-century setting and distinguished pedigree of the participants certainly root the film in a tradition of high-minded Euro-dramas, but "St. Pierre" really sets sail thanks to a sharp script by Claude Faraldo, who wrings bitter truth from this story of romance and redemption. Pay a call on this "Widow."