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The Barbarian Invasions (2003)
"Les invasions barbares" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  5 March 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 23,952 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 165 user | 133 critic | 34 from

During his final days, a dying man is reunited with old friends, former lovers, his ex-wife, and his estranged son.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 46 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



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Director: Louis Bélanger
Stars: Serge Thériault, Gilles Renaud, Sébastien Delorme


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothée Berryman ...
Johanne-Marie Tremblay ...
Sister Constance Lazure (as Johanne Marie Tremblay)
Pierre Curzi ...
Pierre Citrouillard
Diane Leonard
Dominique Michel ...
Dominique St. Arnaud
Isabelle Blais ...
Toni Cecchinato ...
First Lover
Ghislaine (as Mitsou Gélinas)
Markita Boies ...
Nurse Suzanne


In this belated sequel to 'The Decline of the American Empire', 50-something Montreal college professor, Remy, learns that he is dying of liver cancer. He decides to make amends meet to his friends and family before he dies. He first tries to made peace with his ex-wife Louise, who 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 entire Canadian system in every way possible to help his father fight his terminal illness to the bitter end, while he also tries to reunite his former friends, Pierre, Alain, Dominique, Diane, and Claude to see their old friend before he passes on. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

friend | dying | cancer | past | lover | See All (339) »


A provocative new comedy about sex, friendship, and all other things that invade our lives.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual dialogue and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

5 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian Invasions  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,688,557 (France) (26 September 2003)


$9,499 (Hong Kong) (18 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It is the first Canadian film ever to win The Best French Film of the Year award at the Cesars (France's national film awards). See more »


When Sebastian explains to Remy what he does for a living, the collar of his shirt is alternately inside/outside his sweater between shots. See more »


Rémy: [in French] Contrary to belief, the 20th century wasn't that bloody. It's agreed that wars caused 100 million deaths. Add 10 million for the Russian gulags. The Chinese camps, we'll never know, but say 20 million. So 130, 145 million dead. Not all that impressive. In the 16th century, the Spanish and Portuguese managed, without gas chambers or bombs, to slaughter 150 million Indians in Latin America. With axes! That's a lot of work, sister. Even if they had church support, it was an achievement....
See more »


References Heaven Over the Marshes (1949) See more »


Sonate R. 381
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Marlene Finn and Pierre-Richard Aubin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a gem
6 October 2004 | by (ontario) – See all my reviews

I recently watched this film and was very impressed. The screenplay, acting and directing were all top-notch. It was at times funny, sad, tragic and thought-provoking. It touches on everything from drug-use, Canadian medicare, the child-father relationship and of course, past intimate relationships- not all they were cracked up to be! Denys Arcand is so very astute on all these fronts and wrote a fantastic screenplay for the wonderful cast of characters.

It has to be one of my all-time favourite DVD's of 2004.

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a riveting, quality film made in Canada. It deserved the Oscar!

37 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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