The Fall of the American Empire

"The Fall of the American Empire is like an economics class taught by Georges Simenon or Elmore Leonard. Denys Arcand has made a great, violent, socially relevant crime caper film." - Boston Herald

“Charged with alternating currents of droll wit, sardonic cynicism, and socialist-tinged idealism, writer-director Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire is a richly amusing rumination on the excesses and amorality of capitalism.

“It’s difficult at first to warm to this film’s would-be savior, Pierre-Paul Daoust (Alexandre Landry), who’s introduced as a self-pitying malcontent railing against the ‘stupidity’ of anyone who’s ever accomplished more than a well-educated individual such as himself. Despite having a Ph.D. in philosophy, he’s underemployed as a driver for a Montreal courier service.

“While on his delivery rounds, he shows up during a robbery at a store where mob money is deposited in a back-room safe. After the shooting stops but before the police arrive, Pierre-Paul is the only one capable of snatching two duffel bags stuffed with cash. So he grabs the loot and tosses it into his truck.

“The performances across the board are everything they need to be, and the satirical thrusts are well aimed at the right targets. Better still, possibilities for redemption (or something like it) are intelligently introduced and cleverly realized with nary a dab of sentimentality.” - Variety

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