Writer/director Arcand reunites characters from his 1986 film "The Decline of the American Empire" to capture the last days of lecherous, lustful divorced academic Remy (Girard), hospitalized with terminal cancer in his fifties. Through some pleading by his ex-wife (Berryman), estranged son Sebastian (Rousseau) reconnects with his father and deftly orchestrates his twilight days. He upgrades his medical care, persuades ex lovers and colleagues to come and see him off, and sneaks him heroin to ease the physical pain. Takes a few jabs at the Canadian health care system while showing how life and death can be celebrated. Sparkling performances by all, with clever writing that avoids being overly sentimental or maudlin, well deserving of its win in Cannes.
Not Yet Released
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 110 minutes.
Originally from Canadian, French.
Oscars 2003: Foreign Film; British Acad. 2003: Orig. Screenplay; Cannes 2003: Actress (Croze), Screenplay; Natl. Bd. of Review 2003: Foreign Film.
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