Writer-director Denys Arcand's follow-up to his Decline of the American Empire, albeit following along at too far a distance — seventeen years — to have much meaning for those who never bothered, through follow-up viewings, to commit the predecessor to memory. It may be that this highbrow weepie — the accelerated sunset of a self-described "sensual socialist," who bears a striking resemblance to Lon Chaney, Jr. — is as smart and sophisticated as advertised, but surely not cinematically. Even theatrically or literarily, the smartness and sophistication are apt to register as a bit precious, a bit unctuous, a bit ostentatious. And the plot mechanics of obtaining a private room on an unoccupied floor of a hospital, plus a sub-rosa supply of heroin in place of the prescribed morphine, are a shade too smart and sophisticated for their own good. A millionaire in the family can make things easier on everyone, especially on a wily, weaselly scriptwriter. With Rémy Girard, Stéphane Rousseau, Marie-Josée Croze, Dorothée Berryman, Marina Hands. (2003) — Duncan Shepherd
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