The Barbarian Invasions 2004 R

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(84) IMDb 7.7/10
Available in HD
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THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS is a provocative look at the many ties that bind a group of friends and lovers.

Rémy Girard, Dominique Michel
1 hour 40 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Barbarian Invasions

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, International, Mystery, Comedy
Director Denys Arcand
Starring Rémy Girard, Dominique Michel
Supporting actors Marie-Josée Croze, Marina Hands, Dorothée Berryman, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Pierre Curzi, Yves Jacques, Louise Portal, Dominique Michel, Isabelle Blais, Toni Cecchinato, Sophie Lorain, Mitsou, Markita Boies, Micheline Lanctôt, Denis Bouchard, Sylvie Drapeau, Jean-Marc Parent, Dominic Darceuil
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS is a film to be viewed by everyone who'll one day die.
Joseph Haschka
This is a very good film; it many of the elements that make movies interesting: humor, suffering, intellect, existentialism, and ultimately heartbreak.
Amazon Customer
So when I tell you that this is a great movie that will make you laugh hard and cry hard, you know I don't say that lightly!
Stuart Gibson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2003
Infrequently, if at all, does a film for general release revolve around normal, natural death, i.e. one not brought on by fanged space aliens, world-renting cataclysms, wild gunfights, or some other Tinseltown special FX. Hollywood script writers should walk though any cemetery sometime. Not since the 2001 tour de force, WIT, starring Emma Thompson, has the topic been intelligently portrayed. Now comes THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, a powerful French Canadian film of albeit misleading title.
London investor Sebastien (Stephane Rousseau) is summoned home to Quebec by his mother, Louise (Dorothee Berryman) to attend the approaching death of his father, Remy (Remy Girard). Father and son have been long estranged - ever since Remy and Louise divorced. Remy, an outspoken Professor of History and a self-described "sensuous socialist", has spent his life indulging in wine, women, song, and learned conversation. Especially women. The reunion shows little promise of succeeding, especially after a stormy shouting match in Remy's bleak hospital room that leaves the audience facetiously asking, "That went well, don't you think?" But, after Louise reminds her son of a paternal love long forgotten, then filial duty and guilt compel Sebastien to use his considerable wealth to arrange an easier transition for Old Dad by improving the conditions of his hospitalization, and to gather around his treasured friends, colleagues, and mistresses.
The "star" is Remy, who, at the end of his life, contemplates and comes to accept the final sum of it. This exercise would be thought-provoking enough in itself, but writer/director Denys Arcand also interweaves into the plot such prickly subjects as socialized medicine, euthanasia, and the use of illegal drugs to ease terminal medical conditions.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Francois Tremblay on October 15, 2004
Format: DVD
It was rather surprising to learn that this anti-socialist movie won a Foreign Film Oscar. Denys Arcand is well-know for his biting satire of Québécois society, against the clergy in Jésus of Montréal and against Québécois politics in this movie. Invasions Barbares is a sequel to the famous Le Déclin de l'Empire Américan (The Decline of the American Empire), where he philosophizes on the end of the American hegemony based on history and some fast-and-dirty sociology.

In this movie, the Fall of the American Empire is represented by the WTC attack, but the bulk of the movie is not concerned with the United States but with Quebec. In this, Rémy (Rémy Girard), the history professor with a high libido, is dying of cancer and his previous relationships give him no solace. Everyone from Déclin comes back to support him in his hard times, including his estrangled son Sébastien (Stéphane Rousseau, a humourist who plays this serious role with great talent). He's become a resourceful and prosperous man of finance, and uses his money to bribe hospital officials to give his father his own floor, and dips his toe in the underworld to get heroin to alleviate his father's pain.

Rémy admits that his life has been rather pointless, and that the social utopia proposed by Québecois intellectuals has failed. This point is reinforced by the dingy and corrupt (but unfortunately realistic) portrayal of the health care system in Québec, and the failure of the War on Drugs. The movie is far from being all drama : a commentator noted that it was not as much about death as it was about life.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on October 17, 2004
Format: DVD
The Barbarian Invasions is nothing if not a chatty movie, almost every character is well developed and most of what is said is amusing without the self-satisfied piety or strenuous jokiness of garden variety Hollywood flicks.

A man on his death bed, Remy, invites all his friends and family hoping in such a reunion to pass on his pearls of wisdom, and to reconcile all that has remained undone or that shouldn't have been done.

Woven around this seemingly simple frame are many relationships, all explored richly and with fluid rhythm, and some fabulous dialogue veering around insightful ideologies.

For instance, Remy and his son wage what seems to be a lifelong argument, the young man defending his free-market values, faith in technological progress and ascetic lifestyle, and Remy extolling the virtues of socialism and epicurean excess. I was surprised to see some footage of 9/11 in support for the negatives that accompany American-style capitalism.

The title of the film may derive from the bloody history of mankind and all the 'isms' that we've dabbled in (marxism, leninism, etc) -- all of which are talked about in a pseudo-intellectual but riveting manner among these friends -- but there is an unmistakable undercurrent of the ultimate barbaric invasion: time, which wastes us without answering the questions of our intellect and spirit. Remy concedes in anguish at one point, "I haven't found a meaning. I have to keep searching".

The mood is not always this despondent though, it shifts effortlessly between defiant exuberance and wistful contemplation without ever being mawkish.
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