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Year: 2003
USA: Miramax Films
UK: Artificial Eye Film Co
Cast: Remy Girard, Stephane Rousseau, Marie-Josee Croze, Marina Hands, Dorothee Berryman, Johanne Marie Tremblay, Pierre Curzi, Yves Jaqcues, Louise Portal, Dominique Michel, Mitsou Gelinas, Toni Cecchinato, Sophie Lorain, Denis Bouchard, Micheline LanctOt, Markita Boies, Isabelle Blais, Sylvie Drapeau, Yves Desgagnes, Denys Arcand, Daniel Briere, Dominic Darceuil, Roy Dupuis, Rose-Mate Erkoreka, Macha Grenon, Sebastien Huberdeau, Gaston Lepage, Sean Lu, Bonnie Mak, Jean-Rene Ouellet, Jean-Marc Parent, Gilles Pelletier, Sebastien Ricard, Lise Roy, Anna-Marie Sutherland
Director: Denys Arcand
Countries: Canada / France
Languages: French / English (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 99 mins
USA Rated: R for language, sexual dialogue and drug content
UK Certificate: 18 contains hard drug use
USA Release Date: 21 November 2003 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 20 February 2004


Acclaimed director Denys Arcand's (THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, JESUS OF MONTREAL) triumphant return and double Cannes prize winner, THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, is an acerbic and sharply written masterpiece - a witty, tender and intelligent drama comedy concerning the universal themes of love, faith, family and mortality.

THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS reunites many of the cast from THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE and is a reflective taking of stock, picking up the original story fifteen years on; which sees Arcand's characters older but not necessarily wiser and introduces the audience to a new generation.

Remy (Remy Girard), divorced in his early fifties, and an inveterate womaniser with a lust for life is hospitalised. His ex-wife, Louise, asks their son Sebastien (Stephane Rousseau) to come home from London where he now lives as a successful financial whiz kid. Sebastien hesitates; he and his father haven't had much to say to one another for years now. He relents, however, and flies to Montreal with his beautiful fiancee to help his mother and support his father. To Remy, Sebastien represents the barbarian at the gates of the citadel - acquisitive, non-intellectual, and threatening everything he holds dear and all that Remy represents. Sebastien for his part, is equally contemptuous of his father who abandoned him and his mother.

Sebastien moves heaven and earth, brings his contacts into play and disrupts the system in every way possible to ease the ordeal that awaits Remy. He also reunites the merry band that marked Remy's past around his father's bedside: relatives, friends and former mistresses. What have they become in this age of "barbarian invasions"? Are the old irreverence, friendship and truculence still there? Do humour, hedonism and desire still inhabit their dreams?

Retaining much of the astutely observed wit that was a hallmark of his earlier classic, THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS a gleefully irreverent black satire which boasts compelling performances from Arcand's uniformly excellent cast - Remy Girard and Stephane Rousseau are particularly outstanding in the genuinely touching relationship between father and son - is a richly rewarding experience that fails to strike a false note.

THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS was a critical and popular hit, at both the Cannes Film Festival where the film won two prestigious prizes (Best Screenplay for Denys Arcand and Best Actress for Marie-Josee Crose - who plays the daughter of Remy's ex-lover Diane) and at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival where it won the City Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. The film has also been selected as the Canadian entry for the American Academy Awards Best Foreign Language section, testament to Denys Arcand's immense talent this is his third nomination in this category.

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