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Invasion of the Barbarians (2003) - movie overview

Invasion of the Barbarians (2003)

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(69 votes)
Critic Rating
(11 reviews)
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Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Original title: Invasions barbares, Les

Release Date
• USA: Nov 21, 2003
• UK: 20 Feb 2004
DVD Release Date
• R1: Jul 13, 2004
• R2: 28 Jun 2004

Budget CAD 6,000,000

Official Website:
Invasion of the Barbarians Website

MPAA Rating
Rated R for language, sexual dialogue and drug content.

Running Time
1 hour, 39 minutes

Country Canada, France

Studio Cinemaginaire, Production Barbares, Pyramide Productions

More info on

Other Titles
• Invasion of the Barbarians
• Les Invasions barbares
• The Barbarian Invasions

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Genre: Drama, Comedy, Experimental

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

Plot: Denys Arcand's THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS is a story about the humor, hope and unspoken bonds that hold family and friends together against the onslaughts of life in our contemporary times. Winner of two major awards at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, the film merges Arcand's alternately witty and tender storytelling style with his most deeply emotional tale to date: that of a father and son who think they have nothing left in common until – hit with a major crisis --they learn to share an insatiable appetite for life.

It has been years since Sébastien (Stéphane Rousseau), a wealthy London investment banker, has been home to visit his parents in Canada. He has been avoiding a run-in with his father, Rémy (Rémy Girard), a spirited and lustful Professor of History who long ago divorced Sébastien's loving mother Louise (Dorothée Berryman.) Meanwhile, his sister has left land entirely, sailing across the high seas in a yacht. But when a crisis calls Sébastien home to Quebec, father and son must confront one another at last. Right off the bat, their reunion is a bust. Equally stubborn, the two men cannot see eye to eye. To Sébastien, Rémy is unreasonable and cold. To Rémy, Sébastien is a symbol of the coming “barbarian invasions,” of all the negative changes in the world.

But desperate

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 External Reviews
external linkThe Barbarian Invasions isn't exactly light entertainment - the film requires us to contemplate heavy subjects like life and death - but in the end, the movie packs an emotional wallop that The Decline of the American Empire in no way prepared us for. 3.5/4

external linkA poignant, powerful picture, laced with love and laughter. 4/5
--Nev Pierce (BBC Films)

external linkIts personal and intimate moments are profound; they transcend cultural boundaries with the capacity to touch anyone. 80/100
--Mike DeWolfe (Apollo Guide)

external linkIntelligent, thought-provoking, frequently moving film with a strong script and an impressive ensemble cast. 4/5
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)

 Directed by
Denys Arcand
Jesus of Montreal, The Decline of the American Empire, Love & Human Remains
 Written by
Denys Arcand
Jesus of Montreal, Léolo, The Decline of the American Empire
Louise Portal
The Decline of the American Empire, Séraphin: un homme et son péché, Elles étaient cinq
Dominique Michel
The Decline of the American Empire, Louis 19, le roi des ondes, Un zoo la nuit
Yves Jacques
Jesus of Montreal, The Widow of Saint-Pierre, The Decline of the American Empire
Pierre Curzi
The Decline of the American Empire, Matroni et moi, Idole instantanée
Marina Hands
Fidélité, La, Âmes grises, Les, Lady Chatterley
Toni Cecchinato
Mina Tannenbaum, A Single Girl, Plaisir
Sophie Lorain
Mambo italiano, Stardom, Odyssée d'Alice Tremblay, L'
 Music By
Pierre Aviat
France Boutique, Nèg maron

external linkAn intelligent film of careful balances, where the past is weighed against the future, horror against hope, capitalism against socialism, faith against secularism, death against life. The viciousness of its satire, and the ambivalence of its final images, leave a bitter aftertaste which ensures that its message of cautious optimism, though sweet, never becomes too cloying. 7/10
--Anton Bitel (Movie Gazette)



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