Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Barbarian Invasions

Denys Arcand, 2003 (8.4*)
Best Foreign Film (AA)

This touching and poignant film is about the last days of a middle-aged Canadian man with cancer. Remy gathers his family and close friends around, and after abusing the healthcare system by occupying an entire unused hospital floor, the whole group moves to a peaceful country cottage on a lake for his final days. Instead of being morose and gloomy, Arcand manages to make us feel joy along with Remy to be so surrounded by loving companions and family for his final days. This is a tough subject to pull of, and the film bears similarities to both The Big Chill and Bergman's Cries and Whispers, but manages to make us feel better than either of those. This was made for Canadian TV as a sequel to Arcand's Decline and Fall of the American Empire, but won a well-deserved Oscar for Foreign Language film.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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