Denys Arcand's Oscar winning comedy drama is a life-affirming tale of love, family and friendship that features many of the cast and characters from his breakthrough film 'The Decline of the American Empire'. After years of indulging his hedonistic lust for life and women, Remy (Remy Girard) is taken ill, an event that prompts a reunion with his ex-wife (Dorothee Berryman) and estranged son Sebastien (Stephane Rousseau). As father and son learn to set aside their differences, Sebastien moves heaven and earth to make his father's life more comfortable, calling upon the unorthodox help of his old childhood friend Nathalie (Marie-Josee Croze) and Remy's close friends and past mistresses. A brilliantly written and engagingly acted exploration of personal, political and sexual moves, Arcand's acclaimed film is witty, moving and hugely entertaining.
touching and intelligent
- The Barbarian Invasions review by Tim from London
A thoughtful and often humourous film about dying. Really well acted - it features many of the characters from the director's previous film 'Decline of the American Empire'. But you don't have to see that film to enjoy this one. Most importantly it avoids cliches and over sentimentality and often pulls the rug from under your feet - such as the scene where three former students vist Remy in hospital - which genuinely touches him - only for us to find out that they had been paid to be there. If you like talky films with developed characterisation - this is highly recommended.
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
A sad and uplifting tale of love, life and death.
- The Barbarian Invasions review by CP Customer
Remy, a professor of history, is slowly dying of terminal cancer in a Montreal hospital. Knowing he has little time left his wife asks their son Sebastien to come back from London, where he works as a successful businessman. When Sebastien arrives in Montreal he gathers his father's friends around him, and they stay together for Remy's final days. It's a touching story about friendship and farewell to life, alternating drama with thoughtful conversations between the characters on various topics ranging from drug abuse, family life, the power of money, friendship, the search for meaning in life, euthanasia and even terrorism. The quality of acting is great and the story flows along in a very natural way, but overall what makes this film so memorable is the superb script and dialogue. It's a great film and highly recommended.