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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.

Director:

Denys Arcand

Writer:

Denys Arcand
Won 1 Oscar. Another 49 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rémy Girard ... Rémy
Stéphane Rousseau ... Sébastien
Marie-Josée Croze ... Nathalie
Marina Hands ... Gaëlle
Dorothée Berryman ... Louise
Johanne-Marie Tremblay Johanne-Marie Tremblay ... Sister Constance Lazure (as Johanne Marie Tremblay)
Pierre Curzi ... Pierre Citrouillard
Yves Jacques ... Claude
Louise Portal ... Diane Leonard
Dominique Michel ... Dominique St. Arnaud
Isabelle Blais ... Sylvaine
Toni Cecchinato Toni Cecchinato ... Alessandro
Sophie Lorain ... First Lover
Mitsou ... Ghislaine (as Mitsou Gélinas)
Markita Boies 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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

5 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian Invasions See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Louise is calling Sébastien, the screen states that it is 9:30 p.m. in Montréal and 2:30 p.m. in London. London is five hours ahead of Montréal time, not 17. The time in Montréal should thus either state 9:30 a.m. or the London time should state 2:30 a.m. See more »

Quotes

Rémy: I wish that one day you will have a son like you.
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Connections

References Jesus of Montreal (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto Op. 6 No. 6 in G 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 polar24See 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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