Festival de Cannes 70: Denys Arcand, 2003

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

There’s nothing funny about terminal cancer. Or heroin. Or cheating on your wife. And there are many things less upsetting than a damaged, bitter father-son relationship. So Les Invasions barbares (The Barbarian Invasions) might not appear to be a pleasing viewing prospect. Denys Arcand‘s follow-on story from The Decline of the American Empire (nearly twenty years prior) is far from bleak as a whole. In fact, it is intelligent, compelling, and inviting from the very start. The set-up is so immediately engaging and familiar you perhaps feel the film is way beyond the ten minutes you’ve watched so far. While the political backdrop and family history contribute to the movie’s narrative and form much of the script’s dialogue, one of the real perks is the dry humor that is also present. The bittersweet and frank interactions, that often tend to be about the main character Remy’s outlook on women, fit perfectly, and ground us to the human story. One of a kind.

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