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Les Invasions Barbares (2003)

Drama | 99 minutes
3,35 298 votes

Genre: Drama / Comedy

Duration: 99 minuten

Alternative title: The Barbarian Invasions

Country: Canada / France

Directed by: Denys Arcand

Stars: Rémy Girard, Stéphane Rousseau and Dorothée Berryman

IMDb score: 7,5 (29.804)

Releasedate: 24 September 2003

Les Invasions Barbares plot

"A provocative new comedy about sex, friendship, and all other things that invade our lives."

Rémy is a history professor who has devoted his life to women, wine and the left-wing cause. He has cancer and does not have long to live. His wife left him years ago because of his adventures, his son is a millionaire, lives in London and hates his father from the bottom of his heart, his friends are estranged from him and the morphine has long stopped working. After some doubt, son Sébastien decides to come to Montreal to say goodbye to his father with his old friends.

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avatar van otherfool


  • 18445 messages
  • 3392 votes

Funny that people call this movie intellectual, semi-intellectual or whatever. Rather, I thought it was a (mild and funny) critique of their intellect: nowadays their needs have shifted to food and sex and they have nebulous jobs at the expense of the taxpayer. This is in contrast to Sébastien, who may have never read a book but is characterized as the perfect man: smart, rich, a man of the world and loyal to Gaëlle (the last scenes might suggest otherwise, but he could I don't quite place it, but I think he considers the possibility of an affair with the junkie but, unlike his father, does not follow through).

Two typical cases in this are Sebastien's buying of the heroine (he is bold, loyal to his father, and gets very far with money) on the one hand, and the discussion about the 'isms' of the old intellectuals on the other, in which they concede with every intellectual to have blown a tailwind, and were actually more interested in women and sex than in the actual content.

I therefore found the 'intellectual' discussions not only cynical in content, but also in what they conveyed. The old people try so hard to keep up appearances, but they get no further than a competition of 'outward cleverness' in a world that demands so much more.


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avatar van Madecineman

Madecineman (moderator films)

  • 7484 messages
  • 1688 votes

The dialogues that indeed have to come out intellectually in every scene and make the viewer think (especially if there is such a fade-out added to the back, this is in my opinion very thick on top) are sometimes a bit too much. bit tiring. Furthermore, this academic version of euthanasiadrama Simon is fine. Just like the latter, drama and humor are mixed together in a good way.

The academics, with their grandiose leftist ideals of shaping the world according to their ideal, ultimately also fail on the basic fleshly human weaknesses. Ultimately dependent on his capitalist son, a junkie and a Catholic sister. Cynical? I really don't think so, nobody leads the perfect life, not all dreams come true. Ultimately that is not necessary because if the life you have led can bring so much love from others in the end, I think it has been good.
In that sense I also like the ending, in which the apparently perfect son kisses passionately with the junkie and also his childhood girlfriend and in which his soon-to-be whispers "Je t' aime" in his ear while this is an empty slogan for her...
The new generation, then, looks more like the previous generation, because in the end we are all people with weaknesses and mistakes.

A bit pompous, but still enjoyable and honest film. 3.5*

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avatar van BBarbie


  • 12381 messages
  • 7449 votes

Lighthearted film about the cheerful and moving way in which a terminally ill patient - a real hedonist - says goodbye to his estranged wife and son and to his former friends. In the background, director/activist Arcand strongly criticizes the health system in Canada. The opening scenes in the hospital are a bit reminiscent of the crazy Young Doctors in Love (1982).

Beautiful lead role by Remy Girard. As a junkie, Marie-Josée Croze (Maelström, 2000) shows once again that she is an outstanding actress.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original