Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <email@example.com>
This week my picks are La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (The Widow of Saint-Pierre) (2000 - ) and The English Patient (1996 - ).
The first film this week stars Juliette Binoche as the wife of
the captain of the gendarme (Daniel Auteuil) on the French-owned
island of Saint-Pierre, near Newfoundland. She enlists a condemned
murderer (Emir Kusturica, the Yugoslavian director of
Black Cat, White Cat)
to help her build a greenhouse and do other odd jobs. With
no guillotine on Saint-Pierre, the execution is delayed long enough
for the convict to become a folk hero among the locals.
The Widow of Saint-Pierre is another beautiful film
from director Patrice Leconte, who brought us the brilliant
Girl on the Bridge
(which also starred Auteuil) the year before. The strong
performances from the three leads especially make this film an exceptional
Binoche first made a big name for herself in the English-speaking world with her Oscar-winning performance in the second film. Director Anthony Minghella fancies himself David Lean in this epic tale about a Hungarian nobleman (Ralph Fiennes) who recounts his adventures during World War II to a Canadian nurse (Binoche) after being found with ultimately fatal burns all over his body. The main focus of his story is his love affair with Englishwoman Kristin Scott Thomas. Minghella's sweeping visuals and intelligent screenplay led the film to win nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. However, some people (myself included) have deemed Fargo the more deserving nominee. The English Patient is still a great film nonetheless, even though some of its greatness is lost on a television screen.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (2000)
The English Patient (1996)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan