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The Barbarian Invasions (2003)

Les invasions barbares (original title)
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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 48 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rémy
... Sébastien
... Nathalie
... Gaëlle
... Louise
Johanne-Marie Tremblay ... Sister Constance Lazure (as Johanne Marie Tremblay)
... Pierre Citrouillard
... Claude
... Diane Leonard
... Dominique St. Arnaud
... Sylvaine
Toni Cecchinato ... Alessandro
... First Lover
... Ghislaine (as Mitsou Gélinas)
Markita Boies ... Nurse Suzanne
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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

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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 »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

5 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian Invasions  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$79,650, 23 November 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,432,342, 30 May 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,289,563, 7 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Sébastien and Gaëlle are on the plane about to fly back to London, the pilot announces that they will land at Heathrow at 7.45 in the morning. The shot of the plane taking off is a Swiss airline plane. Swiss does not fly from Montréal to London direct. See more »

Quotes

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....
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Connections

Referenced in Les Boys: La potion magique (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto Op. 6 No. 12 in B minor
Music by George Frideric Handel (as Haendel)
Courtesy of Chris Stone Audio Productions Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A mature, intelligent and poignant film about basic human rights we should all deserve
25 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

This is a smart, charming and intelligent film about dealing with loss, love and ageing. On several deeper layers, the characters meditate on the socialist health system in Canada, mortality, their explorations of sexual relationships and the freedom and restraints that come with maturity.

This film effortlessly presents us with characters struggling to live in a system which aims to meet our personal needs but exists to serve capitalist benefits. It demonstrates the uncertainty of life circumstances and mortality. The son's transformation from corporate power-driven lifestyle into a battle against preserving his father's memory and dignity are heartfelt captured are genuine and sincere. The role of the faithful and courageous nurse is compassionately portrayed while indicting the system in which the patients struggle to maintain power of their lives. As a nurse myself, I found it tremendously affecting and a poem to the ideals impart to our patients who have been let down in some way either by the system or in their own personal relationships.

Superbly written, one may accuse the film of being to preachy or pretentiously highbrow for these complex characters. But I actually found it terribly poetic and concise, ranging the vast life experiences of the characters and their skepticism and maturity. At times, the dialogue flows like poetry, holding no preconceptions or vanities about these people, but displaying their desperation at the state of a socialist society their has providing them with an abundance of great literary wealth but failing to meet their basic human needs.

Sophisticated, smart, thought-provoking, tender, and mature, films like this are extremely seldom nowadays. Audience can only too shockingly relate with such vividness and irony to the themes; and we are never played for fools, confronting these issues as if it were a close friend divulging personal secrets over a coffee. Films like this truly show us that life is not for granted and serve to remind us what human qualities we deserve from each other and expect from ourselves.


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