7.3/10
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36 user 30 critic

The Decline of the American Empire (1986)

Le déclin de l'empire américain (original title)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
Sexual revelations emerge when a group of academics and their partners spend a weekend at a country retreat.

Director:

Denys Arcand

Writers:

Denys Arcand, Gabriel Arcand (collaborating writer) | 6 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dominique Michel ... Dominique St. Arnaud
Dorothée Berryman ... Louise
Louise Portal ... Diane Leonard
Pierre Curzi ... Pierre
Rémy Girard ... Rémy
Yves Jacques ... Claude
Geneviève Rioux ... Danielle
Daniel Brière ... Alain
Gabriel Arcand ... Mario
Évelyn Regimbald ... Theresa
Lisette Guertin Lisette Guertin
Alexandre Remy Alexandre Remy ... Transvestite
Ariane Frédérique Ariane Frédérique
Jean-Paul Bongo Jean-Paul Bongo ... Mustafa
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Storyline

A group of academics at the University of Montreal - most long time friends - are planning on gathering at the lakeside recreational home of Rémy and Louise, who have been together for twenty years, married for fifteen of them, for dinner. Louise knows Rémy cheats on her, but believes he only does so when she is not around, about which she accepts. Their recreational home is adjacent to many of the recreational homes of the others, who are: divorced Pierre, his much younger current girlfriend Danielle who is a student at the university, the two who are still in the stage of newfound love, divorced mother Diane, independent minded Dominique, single homosexual Claude, and graduate student Alain. While the four men prepare the dinner, the four women are working out together in the gym. The common factor between the two groups is the topic of conversation: sex, especially as it relates to themselves. But underlying each of the conversations is their own academic and thus intellectual ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

14 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Decline of the American Empire See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,902,706

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,915,792
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house in which the majority of the events take place, in Magog, burned down in 1989, was later rebuilt. The scene in which one of the women characters is having sex, seen through a window from outside, was actually shot through a garage window. The actress was sitting on the snow tires which the owner of the house stored in the garage. She told him that, thanks to the tires, it was one of the most comfortable scenes she had ever done. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les Invisibles: L'Instinct (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cinema at its best!
12 April 2002 | by hesketh27See all my reviews

Each time I see this film, I know how truly wonderful cinema can be at its best. This film, which amazingly is 16 years old (don't know where the time went - frightening!!) is still as fresh, witty and engrossing as it ever was. The story revolves about a group of academics, getting ready to attend a dinner party, the men and women separately(prior to the dinner) discussing with each other their lives loves hopes and fears - sounds dull doesn't it? Well dont you believe it!! Considering its such a dialogue based film, the time flies by due to the superb performances by all involved. Yves Jacques is outstanding as the gay character, whose facial expressions and body language in the film convey what only an actor of the finest calibre could. Louise Portal as the unattached woman longing for a meaningful relationship is also worth a mention amongst the cast. I enjoyed this film so much, that I turned my rusty 'o' level French into fluency so that I could appreciate other French language movies fully, prompted my first visit of several to Montreal where once I actually, believe it or not, bumped into Remy Girard (one of the actors) in the street and started a lasting love of non-English speaking /and or art house movies when previously I had only watched popular box office. I can't guarantee you will love this movie as much as I do, but if you approach it with an open mind, I am sure that you will thoroughly enjoy it. By the way, its about time this movie was released on DVD, especially when you consider some of the junk which has!!!


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