MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,452 this week

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

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 23,168 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 164 user | 133 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 20 Apr 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 17 May 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 23 Nov 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 10 Oct 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Barbarian Invasions (2003)

The Barbarian Invasions (2003) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Barbarian Invasions.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 46 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A group of actors put on an unorthodox, but acclaimed Passion Play which incites the opposition of the Catholic Church while the actors' lives themselves begin to mirror the Passion itself.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A German Jewish refugee family moves to and adjusts to a farm life in 1930s Kenya.

Director: Caroline Link
Stars: Juliane Köhler, Merab Ninidze, Matthias Habich
Tsotsi (2005)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.

Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936. Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch is the king of counterfeiters. He lives a ... See full summary »

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Stars: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow
Zelary (2003)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A nurse and her surgeon-lover are part of a resistance movement in 1940s Czechoslovakia. When they are discovered, her lover flees and she must find a place to hide. A patient whose life ... See full summary »

Director: Ondrej Trojan
Stars: Anna Geislerová, György Cserhalmi, Ivan Trojan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Sexual revelations emerge when a group of academics and their partners spend a weekend at a country retreat.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Dominique Michel, Dorothée Berryman, Louise Portal
Character (1997)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Jacob Katadreuffe lives mute with his mother, has no contact with his father who only works against him and wants to become a lawyer, at all costs.

Director: Mike van Diem
Stars: Pavlik Jansen op de Haar, Jan Decleir, Fedja van Huêt
No Man's Land I (2001)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.

Director: Danis Tanovic
Stars: Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Sovagovic
Departures (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.

Director: Yôjirô Takita
Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Markus Rygaard
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jean-Marc Leblanc (Labrèche), a desperate civil servant, escapes reality as we all know it, to imagine himself as the hero in imaginary adventures.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Marc Labrèche, Diane Kruger, Sylvie Léonard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Le film raconte l'histoire de Luc (Éric Bruneau), un architecte dans la trentaine en pleine ascension professionnelle... See full synopsis »

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Éric Bruneau, Mélanie Thierry, Melanie Merkosky
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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 (342) »

Taglines:

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 September 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian Invasions  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$9,499 (Hong Kong) (18 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It is the first sequel ever to win the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars. See more »

Goofs

The position of the cars outside the window changes when Sébastien first meets Nathalie in the restaurant. See more »

Quotes

Nathalie: It's not the present you cling on, it's your past life. That life is already dead.
Rémy: Perhaps.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.72 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Wallfahrtslied / Pilgrim's Song
Words and Music by Arvo Pärt
European American Music Distributors LLC representing Universal Editions A.G., Vienna
Performed by Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste
Album "Orient Occident"
(c) (p) 2002 ECM Records
Courtesy of ECM Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Politics Aside
16 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I have never been a fan of Canadian cinema because it was generally soaked with the sort of contrived politically correct sexual and social attitudes of which the conformist majority was already a proponent. Thus, Canadian films tended to be "pop-Canadian-culture" films about political correctness.

Of course there were exceptions: Atom Egoyan's "Exotica" or "The Sweet Hereafter," or some of Cronenberg's more experimental films like "Naked Lunch" possessed some of that existential starkness that attracted me to those films. Nonetheless my expectations generally remained low, which is why Denys Arcand's great "Barbarian Invasions" was such a pleasant surprise.

The film is about three things: the disillusionment with socialism, the growing disillusionment with capitalism, and the death of a man who happened to have been a socialist professor in Montreal, while his son a millionaire.

Remy is dying of cancer. He is dying in a Montreal hospital, which in a five minute scene is established as the horror of socialist Canadian health care. Remy's ex-wife calls upon his estranged, well-off son, Sebastien to come visit and take care of his dying father. What follows is both a comic and a touching critique of the achievements of socialism. The film also suggests that the increasingly nihilist capitalism, or money, seems to be the only way to get around in this world. Money gets Remy out of an overcrowded ward, it gets him the most accurate medical tests and the "painkillers" he needs to survive.

But "Barbarian Invasions" is critical of both systems: there is a beautiful scene where an auctioneer visits an old Montreal priest who takes her to the basement where he apparently has statuettes and chalices he wants to sell. The girl examines them and tells him that they would be of more value to the people at the church than on the world market. The priest remarks starkly: "In other words, they are worthless." Capitalism, consequently, is as anti-spiritual as socialism was.

However, there are far more levels to "Barbarian Invasions" than mere politics. In fact, the film's goal is really to scream "Politics Aside!" so that we can make room for the man who is dying. Because Remy is not a quiet, subdued man. He is a lusty man a la Sabbath from Roth's "Sabbath's Theater" who loves life, women, wine and radical socialism. But now, that all those things are distant from him, he is forced to question his life, his relationships with his friends and his estranged children.

What follows is a profound and touching elegy to the stupidities of youth, the mistakes in life, the regret and acceptance of old age - in other words of humanity. In the end, though Remy may be disillusioned with socialism, and definitely not all-too-happy with capitalism, facing death somehow robs politics of their significance. Not to say that politics aren't significant in life, because they pervade everything we do and see and so on, but bare, unadulterated life shines through for Remy. In the end, "Barbarian Invasions" is about death, and dying with dignity and how that dignity is achieved. While neither capitalism nor socialism offer it, it can be found at a more basic, human level.

It's ironic, as a side-note, that this film came out roughly at the same time as Bertolucci's "The Dreamers," which is essentially a contemplation on the idealism and romanticism of French socialism and the "free love" culture of the 60s. I found Bertolucci's film much less profound than his greater ones - it used an affair between two siblings and an American closed off in an apartment for several days as a metaphor for the sixties. It ended rather tragically, but unrealistically - it tried to convince us that people got out from their cloistered "apartments" (read mentalities) and went to the streets to protest. What "Barbarian Invasions" tells us is that the protesters on the street were still really in that apartment, cloistered from reality.


116 of 142 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I the ONLY person who hated this film? tagalongbenny
200 Million American Indians killed ? lanxspam
What is this movie trying to say? danlevans
Canadian Health System - Really so? dan888
Why are they teaching American history at College in Quebec? JerseyTrash
les invasions barbares michelboudot
Discuss The Barbarian Invasions (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?