In Arcand's belated follow-up to The Decline of the American Empire (1986), we find Rémy (Girard) now hospitalised for what turns out to be a terminal illness. His estranged wife calls his even more estranged, financial wizard son back from London to make up and help ensure dad gets the best treatment. Barely able to conceal his contempt for his father's unrepentant selfishness and womanising, the son nevertheless asks old friends to gather at the deathbed and lighten Rémy's final days. Cue much bilious reflection on changing times, intercut with scenes of affectionate loyalty and, inevitably, reconciliation. Both the comedy and the weepy moments tend towards the trite, but the film is directed and performed with such brio and manipulative skill that one eventually succumbs to its somewhat dubious charms.
Cast and crew
Johanne Marie Tremblay