Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Barbarian Invasions

(Les Invasions barbares, Canada, France, 2003)

Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, 2003. An excellent film that, at some moments, reminded me of Woody Allen at his best: intelligent people discussing ideas and remembering better days. (I don’t quite get what the title means, though it is mentioned a few times. It seems peripheral to the story.) A man is dying, and his estranged son has decided to ease father’s last days. The Canadian health care system doesn’t look very good here, at least in Quebec. The son is a businessman who is accustomed to spreading money around, getting things done, cutting to the chase with no bullshit. It’s going to take six months to a year to get an MRI? Let’s go to America where you can walk right in. When the son is told that heroin is much stronger than morphine, he goes to the police station to see how to obtain some! And the police, though intrigued, end up advising him. Lots of good stuff here.