The Decline of the American Empire

Poster for The Decline of the American Empire

Winter 2004 Edge series

Sunday, January 18, 2004 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated 18A · 1h 41m

Acclaimed Canadian director Denys Arcand’s witty comedy, The Decline Of The American Empire, focuses on the marriages and affairs of eight intellectual friends. The group has plans to gather at a secluded house for dinner. While the four men prepare the food and reflect on their promiscuity, the four women discuss their own affairs at a nearby gym. At the dinner table, conflicts soon arise when Dominique, who teaches history at the local university, reveals that she herself has had affairs with two of the men there – one of whom is married to Louise, also present. The entire evening turns into a disaster, with everyone at each other’s throats. The Decline Of The American Empire explores the subjects of marriage, infidelity and sex when a group of friendly intellectuals get together for a weekend in the country. This Oscar-nominated Canadian film won 8 Genies, the Best Canadian Film and Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes’ Fipresci Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award.

“Arcand’s message might not be the happy, happy, joy, joy we have come to expect from our movies but he does shed some truth, no matter how hard it might be to digest.” – Ryan Cracknell, Movie View

“…entertainingly and successfully expresses itself through intelligent characters defined entirely in their talk…it’s spontaneously funny and rueful and full of oblique revelations.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“Here is a movie where everybody talks about nothing but sex, and the real subject is wit.” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times

“…frequently funny, unrepressed meditation on midnight in North America. It’s the kind of warning you’d expect from a middle-aged, over-educated male, going soft ‘round the middle and figuring the world is too.” – Rita Kempley, The Washington Post