The Decline of the American Empire

1986 [FRENCH]

Action / Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright82%
IMDb Rating7.1108356

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
934.02 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.69 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal8 / 10

Man's propensity for self deception is unquenchable

This is a very well done French-Canadian film about eight friends meeting for a dinner party out in the country. Three middle-aged men and a one young man are already at the manor where the dinner will take place, preparing the meal and discussing their sex lives. The remaining party guests, three middle-aged women and one young woman, are spending the day at the gym, exercising and discussing their sex lives.

Eventually they meet up at the country manor for dinner, and the conversation continues. While this may sound like not much happens, the film is never boring, and the direction by Denys Arcand keeps the viewer visually interested. I'm also keeping the character descriptions purposely vague, as their relationships to one another are revealed slowly as the film progresses. The dialogue is frank, funny and sharp, and all eight characters are fully-drawn human beings. I especially like the notion that these eight characters who seem to speak non-stop and at times overshare in the extreme, can't seem to honestly communicate when it matters most in their lives.

The title refers to a historical adage that when members of a given society begin to think about their own individual happiness above every other concern, that society is doomed. The characters' romantic navel-gazing and at times destructive pursuit of happiness seems to signal our own societal sunset. But don't let that heavy thought steer you away from the film, as it's brilliantly acted and well worth a look.

The sequel, "The Barbarian Invasions", made 17 years later, is also very worthwhile.

Reviewed by MartinHafer3 / 10

who is the intended audience?

I had a VERY hard time sitting through this film. Unless you really are very pro-adultery and like to hear people ENDLESSLY talking about their sexual exploits, I can't see how you could enjoy this film. Geez--most of the main characters behaved like rutting weasels and their bragging about their MANY infidelities grew tiresome. About the only element of this I appreciated was the DISGUSTING scene where the one character was urinating and blood was splattering everywhere because he'd picked up an STD---BIG SURPRISE!?! Hmm.

If you want a GOOD film, watch the sequel, Barbarian Invasions. Despite the general unlikable nature of many of the characters, the sequel is VERY involving and more realistic--well worth your time.

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg10 / 10

I didn't know that "The Barbarian Invasions" was a sequel

Some years ago I saw "The Barbarian Invasions", about a get-together for a terminally ill man. It turns out that it was a sequel to Denys Arcand's 1986 movie "Le déclin de l'empire américain" ("The Decline of the American Empire" in English). This Oscar nominee features a get-together where the characters talk profoundly about sex, as well as the tendency to fulfill self-gratification over the greater good.

The movie could be a double feature with "The Sessions" for its frank, serious discussions of intercourse. To be certain, there's a gay man concerned about STDs, as this was during the height of the AIDS crisis. What caught my eye was the mention that the US empire was on its decline; we're even more so now, one might even say free fall (it hasn't helped that two of our three presidents in the past twenty years have been willfully ignorant yahoos).

Anyway, this movie makes me want to see more movies from Denys Arcand. If you want nonstop explosions and car chases, this won't be for you. If you want a deep, earnest look at relationships, then you owe it to yourself to watch this.

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