The Barbarian Invasions
The Barbarian Invasions
| 24 September 2003 (USA)
The Barbarian Invasions Trailers

In this belated sequel to 'The Decline of the American Empire', middle-aged Montreal college professor, Remy, learns that he is dying of liver cancer. His ex-wife, Louise, asks their estranged son, Sebastian, a successful businessman living in London, to come home. Sebastian makes the impossible happen, using his contacts and disrupting the Canadian healthcare system in every way possible to help his father fight his terminal illness to the bitter end, while reuniting some of Remy's old friends, including Pierre, Alain, Dominique, Diane, and Claude, who return to see their friend before he passes on.

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Reviews
MoPoshy

Absolutely brilliant

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Kien Navarro

Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.

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Kaelan Mccaffrey

Like the great film, it's made with a great deal of visible affection both in front of and behind the camera.

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Staci Frederick

Blistering performances.

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Python Hyena

The Barbarian Invasions (2003): Dir: Denys Arcand / Cast: Remy Girard, Stephane Rousseau, Dorothee Berryman, Marie-Josee Croze, Louise Portal: Very funny and often touching French Canadian film about change, attitude and eternity. It stars Stephane Rousseau as a London Investment banker whose father, played by Remy Girard is seriously ill. Accompanied by his fiancé he flies to Canada to confront the father he would never relate too. Similar to Big Fish and The Event in its inclusion of family and friends when life comes to a close. Similar to Marvin's Room and One True Thing in its disregard for eternity after death. Very well written with hilarious dialogue throughout but conclusion brings cause for disagreement. Directed by Denys Arcand as a sequel to his The Decline of the American Empire, and thankfully avoids duplicating that film's cleverness and instead measures its own unique spin as a sequel. Girard is hilarious reflecting on his lust for women while Rousseau plays off the frustration of his son. Dorothee Berryman plays his divorced mother. Marie-Josee Croze steals scenes as a drug addict who supplies heroine to kill the pain in Girard. Well crafted Canadian cinema that still continues to clever storytelling of the first film as well as the hilarious moments. It is a detailed film about living and sharing life before it ultimately conclusion. Score: 8 / 10

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Syl

The Barbarian Invasions film isn't anything that I was prepared for. The cast is superb and entirely French Canadian so I don't know anybody. They are very realistic in their performances as the friends and family come together to celebrate the life of Professor Remy Girard before he leaves them all. The film is a classic ensemble piece of great acting, directing, and writing. Still, Remy has to come to terms with his life and inevitable death. He is reunited with his ex mistresses, friends including a gay couple, his son and daughter-in-law, and his understanding ex-wife. I loved Dorothee Berryman's performance as Louise, his ex wife. The mistresses are also well-performed by veteran French Canadian actresses Louise Portal and Dominique Michel. The film has it's humor although dark but worth it. The friends and family are there to celebrate his life and will mourn his loss inevitably. The film is also an indictment on the Canadian health care system and it's failures as well as illegal drug use and euthanasia or dying with dignity as is the case. The film also suggests life's meaning especially Remy's legacy. The conversation can be offensive and critical of life in general. What is the best to follow and live?

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kenjha

A dying man is surrounded by friends and his estranged son. There isn't much of a plot here, with much time devoted to the mundane actions taken by the son to make sure his father's final days are comfortable. The viewer is supposed to be drawn into the philosophical blabbering of the characters. While they talk a lot, they don't say much that is interesting. One would expect the dying man to have some profound thoughts, but he is rather shallow and self-centered. His son, a millionaire, does little more than bribe people. The film tends to go off on tangents involving minor characters. It eventually becomes tedious, and one wishes the old man would just die so the film can end.

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craigp81

There seems to be a lot of passion over the claim that the film is anti-American, anti-capitalist, etc. Many criticisms seem to dismiss the humanistic elements in this film - pain, death, reconciliation - because it has a vague intellectual, leftist, socialist face. My experiences in Canada tend to suggest that the Canadians have plenty of targets down south that deserve criticism. But does it matter? Whether the film included all these elements, the key theme was the preparation for death and reconciliation between those who will not see each other again.Doesn't anybody cry over loss? Are we scared of those things after death? or do we fear the process of dying - the loss of the person, their presence? A person died in this film - right before us - 100 minutes of decline -and what a sigh of relief that there was reconciliation in the end! That there was time to speak, time to be present. Consider the contrast between the daughter on the yacht - stranded, distant - and the son near his father. The great pain that welled up in me to see that there was no opportunity for her left.I don't cry in films, but I did here. I feared dying more than ever - other people's deaths, and mine - and I resolved to prepare for it.

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