With this erotic, barbed satire, French Canadian writer-director Denys Arcand returns to the preoccupations of his first U.S. art house hit, the politically charged 1986 sex comedy The Decline of the American Empire, which began a trilogy that eventually included his Oscar-winning The Barbarian Invasions (2003) and the less successful The Age of Ignorance (aka Days of Darkness, 2007). In Fall he again skewers rapacious capitalism, this time refining the generic conventions of a well-paced heist film. One day on the job as a parcel delivery man, a dishy but shy progressive Montreal intellectual (Alexandre Landry) witnesses a bank robbery gone wrong and impulsively scoops up the two cash-stuffed duffels left behind after the carnage. Committed to improving the lives of the homeless, he sees a chance to convert the stolen loot (which turns out to be laundered drug money) into opportunity for the city’s impoverished and struggling working stiffs and seeks out the help of an ex-con (Rémy Girard) who studied offshore investment law while incarcerated, as well as that of a fat-cat financier (Pierre Curzi) whose former mistress, a brainy hooker (Maripier Morin), likes the hero’s books as much as his looks. The quips fly left (-wing) and right, and Landry and Morin provide ample eye candy; for those who prefer their larcenous high jinks leavened by a serious social conscience, this ebullient romp is just the ticket. In English and subtitled French.
The Fall of the American Empire
R • 2 hours 7 min • 2018