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 24,192 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 165 user | 134 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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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 »


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


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


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


America, The Beautiful
Performed by ARR Harpaz/Perrenot
Courtesy of Chris Stone Audio Productions Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Key Themes are Not 'Anti-capitalism, Anti-Americanism'
8 March 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

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.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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