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NEW Barbarian Invasions (DVD)

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
The most skilful attribute of "The Barbarian Invasions" is the clever way in which the film intertwines a personal story with our collective history. I don't remember another recent film that has managed to move and making me feel involved as much, and in both respects. The film is incredibly accurate in capturing a "moment", an undercurrent; difficult to articulate and to put in words, of what it is happening in our world today. It does this with remarkable restrain and in small measures in the delivery of details, giving us few but quite powerful facts.

The film centers on Rémy's estranged relationship with his son Sebastian (stand-up comic Stéphane Rousseau) a millionaire London businessman. When Sebastian comes to Montreal with his fiancée (Marina Hands), years of resentment against his father boil to the surface. Rémy apparently was not an exemplary father figure. He cheated on his wife, over indulged himself in hedonistic pleasures, and offered less than the support his children needed. Rémy, a socialist, considers his son a "puritanical capitalist" and one who portends the coming "barbarian" invasions. Sebastian resents Rémy for his womanizing and calls him "contentious". In spite of this resentment, however, he starts throwing money around to try and make his father's final days more comfortable, in a way subtly letting his father know that money can buy anything.

"The Barbarian Invasions" is not a perfect film by any means but is one of the strongest Canadian films. Though some of the dialogue is strained, underneath there is a humanity that allows us to connect with our feelings about our own mortality and our relationships with those we care about.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the one star! I viewed it wrong! July 18 2004
This...is my favorite movie of all time.

Oh my. Get me out of here!

To begin with: It is a warm, funny, loving movie about a guy dying, surrounded, thanks to his (estranged--she kicked him out 15 years earlier, when she found out he had slept with nearly all the women in Montreal) wife, his (successful, rich, employed by a London bank as a risk-management expert--also estranged) son--by all his friends, his loved ones, and as much comfort as money and heroin can provide. But it is not just about him, and dying--as we all die, wondering, wishing we had done....things (my God! he was a teacher--and a good one too), but about the lives of the people who surround him, whom he brings together, who have, and develop, their own meaningful relationships.

Secondly, you love everyone in it--except for Pierre's bitchy wife--why didn't he stick with the girl he met in the message parlour in "Decline of the American Empire"? But Pierre seems to love her, so perhaps, had she been part of the circle, we would have found things to love about her as well.

Third--oh, let's quit this numerical stuff--I wanted nothing so much as to go to Montreal after I had seen this movie. And I live in Berkeley! It is SO beautiful there. As for Universal Health Care, it may be far from perfect--but do you know where all those people lying in the hospital corridor would be lying here? ON THE STREET.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Film of Beauty and Intellectual Wealth July 17 2004
By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS is a miracle movie. As conceived and directed by Denys Arcand this film is a brilliantly entertaining story, full of hilarious dialogue and situations, full of intellectual stimulation, brilliant metaphors and similes, full of probing philosophy, while standing as the finest examination of our society as it stands at the moment. The beauty of the film is that for all of the intellectual wealth it contains, it never bogs down with cerebral weightiness. The mood is consistently entertaining: the infinite messages contained are left as after burn.
Remy (and indelible characterization by Remy Girard) has lived a life of sexual freedom, intellectual pursuits (he is a Professor of History and defender of free thinking), and seems to have placed his family and wife in the periphery. Suddenly faced with a diagnosis of a rampantly aggressive and untreatable cancer, he rages against the world that no longer holds his tenets of civilization dear: he faces his mortality convinved he has no legacy to leave the world he entered. His ex-wife notifies his worldly and wealthy Baby-Boomer generation son in his important office in London to return home, despite the fact that the son sees little point in rushing back to the father who was never a father to him. The son Sebastien (in a sophisticated, engrossing performance by Stephane Rousseau) flies to Montreal and, in his manner of control, takes over, planning the care of this 'shameful father' in a manner that allows him to provide the best amenities while putting more emotional distance from his father.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Génial
Tout aussi actuel aujourd'hui qu'à l'époque
Les blagues sont ascerbes comme jadis
En somme, une bonne détente réflective, voir contemplative
Published 12 months ago by Guy Marc Gagne
5.0 out of 5 stars Denys Arcand's chef d'oeuvre!
This is truly a splendid sequel to the acclaimed, 'Le déclin de l'empire Américain'. Taking us twenty years later as a follow-up to the main characters' development... Read more
Published on June 7 2012 by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, funny and sharply observed film about life, letting go, and...
An intelligent, witty, barbed, but still emotional film about; death,
family, friends, class, intellectuals, hard headed capitalists vs. Read more
Published on May 19 2011 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation...?
I watched the film for a french class and enjoyed it quite a bit. I found watching the film in french with English subtitles a little confusing and i began to wonder if the the... Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2007 by Kris2fur cepensir
5.0 out of 5 stars Un film GENIAL!
Ce film est absolument génial! Le scénario est excellent et les acteurs splendides! A voir!
Published on June 4 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
(For the earlier reviewer, the final song is "L'Amitié" -- friendship -- by Françoise Hardy, who has been recording since the 1960s. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2004 by Tom Trueman
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film
A scathing commentary on the Canadian health care system, combined with a wonderful family story. Just excellent.
Published on Aug. 26 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding
The best movie I have seen in years!!
Can anyone help me learn the name of the final song?
Published on July 19 2004 by William P. Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets better as it goes on
Barbarian is a movie that gets better as the minutes pass. It's about making the most of your time alive. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by chicoer2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film Desrving of the Award Best Foreign Language Film
Few films can bring an 18 year old man to the brink of tears. This film succeeds in that attempt. Regardless of what other reviers write, this film reminds me of why I... Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Mark J. Walters
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