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 24,196 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
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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 »


After Rémy and everyone else watch the final video message of Sylvaine on Sébastien's laptop, a man's left hand removes the laptop plug on the viewer's left side as Sébastien takes the laptop away. All the characters present at the chalet, at the time, are accounted for in the shot; save Nathalie who is inside preparing the heroin. See more »


Rémy: I wish that one day you will have a son like you.
See more »


References Jesus of Montreal (1989) 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

22 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Wonderful" is the only word I can think of to describe this movie. Denys Arcand skewers the Quebec Provincial Government, the Federal Government, Socialized Medicine, Labour Unions, and just about everything else, but gently and wittily. (Rather more funny since there are a lot of Canadian tax dollars financing this effort). The aging and dying student radicals of forty years ago gather to give it all one last heave-ho and the dialogue (so much better than the sub-tiles can convey) is smart and witty and sad. They poke wistful fun at their younger selves while fearing the end as it comes for them and for us all. Love is thick on the ground as is self-loathing and anger and lust. These are rich, educated, privileged people who are still not all that far removed from their student days, at least in their own minds. They are something that many people may have trouble comprehending: wealthy Socialists.

It isn't necessary to have seen Arcand's previous work with these characters,( `The Decline of the American Empire') to appreciate this movie, but then, why would anyone deny themselves that pleasure?

26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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