The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares)
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The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares)
Director Denys Arcand revisits the situations and relationships that informed his international breakthrough The Decline of the American Empire with this dialogue-driven character study. Set 17 years after Decline, The Barbarian Invasions, like its predecessor, examines the varying politics -- economic, personal, and sexual -- at play among an aging group of friends, lovers, and ex-spouses. This time around, leads Remy (Rémy Girard) and Louise (Dorothee Berryman) are divorced, with their son Sebastien (Stéphane Rousseau) living in capitalist splendor in London. But the slightly estranged… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Despite an uneven cast, Arcand finds a tonal balance between sentimental and cynical that keeps the conversations real and heart wrenching."
‑ Ted Shen, Chicago Reader
"A nicely balanced blend of sentiment and acrid wit."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
""The Barbarian Invasions" is an intriguing meditation on the inevitable fall of ideologies under the pressure of nature's laws."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"So many fascinating ideas are raised here that Arcand's decision to explore them within the context of a self-satisfied soap is disappointing."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine
"...jerkily paced, dramatically obvious, and seems penned by a self-serious 16-year-old"
‑ Jay Antani, Los Angeles Alternative
"A full-bodied, funny and gloriously unpretentious ode to family, friendship and the meaning of life."
‑ Lisa Nesselson, Variety
"Arcand avoids the temptation of turning the story into a tear-jerker."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Humour, whether darkly observant or skilfully witty, twines through the film like a confidently creeping ivy, growing out of the characters quite naturally."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"The film's emotional ending is deeply felt and powerful, examining the pain and the humor of life without pathos or melodrama. As such, the film resonates and lingers."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"The occasion is death, but the movie is a joyous celebration of life."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Both the comedy and the weepy moments tend towards the trite, but the film is directed and performed with such brio and manipulative skill that one eventually succumbs to its somewhat dubious charms."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"If you haven't seen the original, which, if memory serves, was billed as 'The Big Chill with a doctorate,' no worries. Arcand's follow-up stands alone as a universal story of generational reconciliation."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The film may be more of a sad commentary on the human condition than traditionally sad in the manner Arcand intended."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
" almost documentary truth to the performances, a un-movieish consistency of tone that makes it easy to forget that we're watching actors."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"You get to experience the sentiment without drowning in it; and you get a sharp-edged ideological exploration of living (and dying) in modern times."
‑ Donald Munro, Fresno Bee
More reviews for The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares) on Rotten Tomatoes