It is generally acknowledged that, with very few exceptions, movie sequels don't work. Perhaps that's why Denys Arcand waited some 13 years before pulling together the original cast from his 1986 film, Le déclin de l'empire américain. That film captured the sexual and intellectual pulse of the 1980s, and went on to became one of Quebec's most loved and respected movies, as well as picking up, among other awards, an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film. This time Arcand works very close to home. His home. His family. Les invasions barbares is based on his own experience with Quebec's health-care system. His grandfather, father and mother all died of cancer and the film revolves around a man dying of cancer and his relationships with his son and friends. Through the film, Arcand exposes the sorry state of Quebec's hospitals, while at the same time reflecting the generation of Québec intellects and artists who rebelled against Catholicism. At the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Arcand was honoured with the award for Best Screenplay and Marie-Josée Croze was voted Best Actress. She plays a young drug addict recruited to supply the dying man with heroin to ease his pain.
Les invasions barbares won the Oscar® for Best Foreign-Language Film in 2004 and was nominated for Best Screenplay. It also won six Genie Awards.
99 minutes - Drama
Release date: May 9, 2003
DVD release date: July 13, 2004
Canadian distributor: Odeon Films