Monday, August 20, 2012

Movie of the Week – The Barbarian Invasions

This week’s movie is The Barbarian Invasions (2003).

The Canadian drama is about the final days of a college professor Remy’s life and the lengths his son Sebastien will go to, insuring that his father is comfortable and surrounded by his friends and loved-ones (it is a sequel to The Decline of the American Empire in so much as it shares many of the same characters, but that film is not necessary at all to enjoy this one). It is touching story written and directed by Denys Arcand (who also had a critical hit with Jesus of Montreal). The cast is very good lead by Remy Girard, Stephane Rousseau, Marie-Josee Croze, and Marina Hands. The film was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in addition to winning the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and it won the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival (where it was also competing for the Palme d’Or). Arcand’s screenplay is wonderful, as tonally it is both tragic and full of happiness. It is a scathing critique on healthcare in Canada and the younger generations who seemingly have grown-up without knowledge of the arts, while also touching briefly on the futility of the war on drugs. It is a beautiful tale of a father a son reconnecting, and finally a story about a man facing the end. And yet, even with such a broad range of topics, Arcand develops wonderful characters and moments. It is a must-see for fans of great dramas (this is one of the best of the decade). Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD

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