Take a ride through the life and memories of Barney Panofsky, a hard-drinking, cigar-smoking, foulmouthed 65-year old hockey fanatic and television producer, as he reflects on his lifes successes and (numerous) gaffes and failures as the final chapters of his own existence come sharply into focus.
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What really sells it as a story is star Paul Giamatti's boisterous, wide-ranging and seductive performance.
If it's something refreshingly different and brilliantly done you'relooking for then this is it. Barney's Version won me over in the firstopening minutes and sealed it's place as a lifelong favorite wellbefore the end. Barney's words and actions just cracked me up and Ilaughed until I cried repeatedly all the way through the movie saying"OMG! it's the male version of me!" Babyboomers and generation X willappreciate this movie the most. If you have a care-bear, wrap them incotton wool, political correct mentality this movie is not for you!This is a movie best appreciated by those over the age of 40 who grewup in the 50's, 60's and early 70's before the world went to crapbecause of the afore mentioned.I loved this movie. It is true that Barney is "politically incorrect,impulsive, irascible, fearlessly blunt, hard-drinking, cigar chainsmoking, foulmouthed, cynical, self-absorbed, frumpy schmuck, he is nopretty sight - from inside or out" BUT.... I loved that like me Barneyspoke his mind and didn't care what people thought of him and what hehad to say. He wore his heart on his sleeve, was deeply passionate inall that he did, was loyal to his friends and family with the exceptionof one major stuff up (who doesn't make mistakes?), and he was doggedin his determination. He was sincere in all that he did and said andyou always knew where you stood with him, no head games.... this is metake it or leave it, I don't back down, never give up and won't go awayso deal with it kind of guy (a man after my own heart he-he!). I foundthat for all Barney's flaws he possessed traits that balanced himout.... how often are we all so quick to find others flaws and yet failto take the time to really get to know someone and discover their goodqualities.I loved Barney and I love movies that you can relate to, can say that Iknow people like that and leave you thinking on so many differentlevels about life, your life and pondering so many possibilities ofwhat if I....? Giamatti 1st impressed me in the mini series John Adams and in Barneyhe did another extraordinary performance proving once again thatdespite the fact he isn't what you would expect a leading man to looklike he certainly does have what it takes to leave a memorableimpression as a leading man given the right script and environment towork with. I can't fault any of the cast to be honest, they all seemedto belong in and played their respective role beautifully.All in all a huge BRAVO! to all the cast and crew for a highlyentertaining, brilliantly scripted, very original and I must say a veryside-splitting funny movie. AND thank you to Giamatti for giving us arefreshing and unforgettable leading man in Barney.... this gal foundherself absolutely adoring Barney.... a male version of me in manyrespects! LMAO! I wish I could give a much higher score than 10/10! Amovie that has a charm all of it's own that I suspect will age / datebeautifully!Oh and one final note.... PLEASE watch and listen carefully for anextremely creative reveal to understand what really happened that dayat the lake between Barney and his best friend... the did he or didn'the do it is answered in full at the end of the movie.... *rolls eyes*at those who obviously didn't pay attention
Beautiful acting, solid directing, but this film is all too obviouslyan adaption of a novel. Whereas views have been expressed about thescript being an obvious improvement over the book cinematography-wise,the plot still tries to pack too much and as a consequence fails on anumber of levels. Characters are unshaped and therefore do not makesense: Boogie is the most obvious one, he plays a big part initially,relates with everyone, but we have no idea who he is, what's drivinghim, why did he do the things he did. So are the first wife, thechildren, the policeman. With the film trying to span tens of yearswhilst rendering a comprehensive picture of Barney's life, little canbe afforded to any character other than Barney's. I can't say that,save for the acting, I enjoyed the film. It is unwieldy and thecharacters do not add up.
Do yourself and the normally appealing Giamatti a favour and watch Sideways again instead.
I didn't make it all the way through the movie so I can't comment on last 20 minutes. It's hard to imagine that the end of this movie could have rescued everything that came before. I felt that I had no real connection or affection for any of the characters, particularly Barney, who was desperately self-absorbed. It was impossible to believe that 3 beautiful women would fall for this guy, not only because of his dreadful personality but because he is SO physically unattractive. Aside from really disliking the characters and wondering what the plot was, I thought the pacing was excruciating. After a while I went to the bathroom and just never came back. Did I see the same movie as the 5 star reviewers?
I know some are raving about Giamatti's performance, but I don't thinkhe pulls it off, and I didn't buy the different "ages" he was supposedto be portraying. The film "tells" us he wears his heart on his sleeve,but I don't see it. And the Jewish stereotypes in the movie are justsilly and repulsive. Minnie Driver, who seems to disappear whenever shehas to hide her native British accent, does such a terrible carbon copyof a "Jewish Princess," that it was hard to watch. Meanwhile, there'shardly anyone worth rooting for in the film, and it's really a stretchto see why all these women are attracted to Barney. Barney's oneredeeming quality would seem to have been his reliability for hiswriter friend, but the film suddenly and somewhat inexplicably blows upthat friendship and escalates the sudden conflict with some needlessbrutality. The film seems to be a lot about how drinking excessivelycan lead to one bad decision after another. It never seems like whatBarney does comes from some need he can communicate to us; it's justthe alcohol talking. Finally, it's true that Hoffman is good in thefilm--but that's hardly enough to make it worth seeing.I was incredibly disappointed in this movie.
This movie is a waste of time. The protaginist is a selfish nitwit who has done nothing with his life. Why anyone would want to write a story about this boob is beyond me. The end trieds to vindicate him but, in the end, it only shows that his life has been one big mess. A person would be better off doing anything else than watch this nonsense.
The title is the very first and last one in here, who can tell... thetruth. Very far away from 4 weddings and a funeral, Barney's version isa very good film. It's Richler's book, the story that's told here, thatis terribly sad. How the f... can you stop or avoid the Â«Â worseÂ Â»,while you see it (him, her...) arrive ? One way reading or watchingthat story seems to be in a fatalistic point of view, or even like theman as-his-worst-enemy. In a world of faith, it can be a fatalisticfilm. In a world made by choices and rationality, you earn only whatyou seeded, which ends not differently. This can not be a fatalistic,nor patriarcalistic view, even if... we expect a film where wivestestify about same tragedy.So old Barney passes his life in review, not even thinking he couldhave changed things, at this or that time. And in fact, till the end,we are sad with him, to testify he's right. His memories aren't a trialwhere he accuses himself, but where he looks back on how it began. Andit began... at the beginning (Trastevere, 1974). He's lost his wife(the 3rd and Â«Â right oneÂ Â», the beloved Miriam), and health, because ofchoices he didn't make alone. Choices like a lifetime love, that canend, Â«Â because it's lifeÂ Â» : But life also, sometimes, lies.Paul Giamatti is indeed a very good alcoholic an ironical characterplayer, after he settled that intelligent wine amateur kind ofdesperate husband in Sideways. As Barney, whether a hopeless bastard ora passionated lover, he makes us often shake head, but with the smileof kind of a partner. He also has the fortune to enjoy the good old DHoffman as a very clever and funny wise father. At least. Could thisimmoral very ethical old man be a Â«Â modelÂ Â» ?The wives are each very different, and we soon understand why : youcan't build serious things always on mistakes or lies, because whileaging, you have to prepare death, and that peace of heart that doesn'tmake you expecting it with the fear of eternal loneliness, as itsometimes seems, while you're alive. The two first weddings and bridesare quite economical unions (even if they're cute). The third seemslike what everyone can say in one word : love (at least in... hisÂ«Â versionÂ Â»). But the kind of a message, here, not allows to build toomany things, on that word : even love is part of human lives, so evenlove lies, dies.Â«Â You don't make good stories with good feelingsÂ Â». Here, it's veryexactly depicted. And so it is, also, directed and played.
It's a breezy and charming film in all, well-acted, playful and filled with real joie de vivre.
Yes, it's well acted and frequently touching. But it's the thoughtful, tasteful indie-film version. It's not exactly Barney's version.
Full review herehttp://thewildbore.blogspot.com/2011/01/review-barneys- version.htmlPaul Giamatti stars in this strange drama/comedy about Barney, a TVproducer who has had a string of ladies and booze and also a hint ofmurder ...This was totally not the film I thought it would be. From the cover itlooks like a funny, 'indie', happy film about a charming, charismaticman but yet it couldn't be further from the truth. Instead, "Barney'sVersion" was a melancholy, sad, tear-jerker about a man who makes a lotof mistakes and he might seem like a miserable, old, sleazy git but inessence he's a victim and by the end, you seem to completely sympathisewith him.We are introduced to Barney as an old man making prank phone calls, asa bitter, twisted, lonely specimen who is accused of murder by that guyfrom the Tesco adverts. We soon jump back in time and see Barney'sfirst wife - the bohemian, messed up Rachelle Lefevre who is completelyself- obsessed but when it's over, Barney is ridden with guilt and,once his career starts picking up he runs into Minnie Driver. Driver isa self- righteous, rich, Daddy's girl and Barney marries her not out oflove, but out of the need to succeed. As his father played by DustinHoffman states, he'd be a fool not to marry her. Hoffman's role as thesingle father, a man who also has his own demons, is incredible andshould have picked up an Oscar nomination - simple, effective andwithout any acting flab. Barney's love for another woman during hismarriage might seem perverse and wrong in the eyes of society, but onceyou scratch away at the surface, you see he is truly a romantic andfeels that Mirium (Rosamund Pike) is the one he should be with. It'slike the passionate scene at the end of a rom-com, but more realistic.All the while, he's being accused of killing his best friend, whom hemisses like mad and his drinking is getting worse..... Rest here: http://thewildbore.blogspot.com/2011/01/review-barneys-version.html
Paul Giamatti almost makes this version of Barney work with his rumpled, ironic melancholy.
This is one of those love it or hate it movies. Actually it is not thatintense so it's more of a like it or don't like it.Here's why to like it. Excellent award worthy performance by PaulGiamatti as Barney. Strong performances by the supporting cast. MinnieDriver was convincing and Rosamamund Pike is intelligent and goodlooking. Dustin Hoffman is good while alive. Seems like you get him todo this little movie if you cast his son. Well photographed interestinglocations. Barney is kinda a fun guy to hang out with in an ArchieBunker sort of way. He breaks the record set by the male lead in "HeartBreak Kid" as he cheats on his Jewish wife at the wedding reception.Here's why to dislike it. At over two hours it is way to long. Barneyis such a schmuck of a guy, it is hard to like him. The movie may beoffensive to woman and some might consider it anti-Semitic.It's well written. It's funny until it becomes poignant. The title doesnothing to help it as it conjures up a Purple dinosaur. It's not foreveryone and may take an effort to find it. See it and you decide.
One of the most successful adaptations yet of a Richler novel. And with Guy Dufaux's sun-dappled lensing, it's also one of the most beautiful.
Barneys Version..a Canadian / Italian production made in 2010 is, onevery good movie. When its funny its VERY funny, and when its dramaticits VERY dramatic. Paul Giamatti is brilliant as Barney Panofsky...aguy with multiple human defects (heavy drinker, big time cigar smoker,and a tendency for acting impulsively)...until he sees his "true love"at his second wedding. He sounds like a really un-likable man, but heis honest, and it is his honesty which makes him lovable. We evenforgive him when he accidentally kills his best friend. I found thismovie highly entertaining, and with Dustin Hoffman at his best asBarneys dad and Rosamund Pike perfection as the third Mrs. Panofskythere is a kind of magic in the air. I did think the music was neverquite right, but that is nothing to be concerned about. Barneys Versionis extremely good movie making.....with great acting.
I wish I responded to this shrewdly acted, rather dutiful picture the way I did to the tumultuous Richler adaptation I saw and loved as a 13-year-old, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," starring a vibrant young Richard Dreyfuss.
Some of the best performances I have seen in years. How it was passedover during award seasons puzzles me.One of those rare films that will tug at every one of your emotionsduring it running time. It will make you laugh, cry and angry in equaldoses. A tragic tale of life being life.The entire cast are perfect, with so many stand out performances.Rosamund Pike and Paul Giamatti are amazing in it. The makeup artistsshould have walked away with an Oscar on their own. The aging of theactors is simply perfect.Check it out.
[Giamatti] makes this mess of a human being seem oddly gallant instead of grotesque.
Enjoyable, emotionally engaging and darkly funny comedy drama with a sharply written script and terrific performances from a superb ensemble cast.
A predictable, banal, superficial, ridiculous script and a pointlesscast of talented actors who wander through the movie without portrayingone single believable character. Let's just stick to Barney for asecond. Not only he is unattractive but he is also unpleasant, and,above it all, BORING. There is nothing edgy about this character,nothing interesting, nothing even that makes us sympathize with him.There is no story development. Why does his first wife commit suicide ?Is this supposed to be part of the drama of the plot ? and why does hemarry his second wife ? Where is the character(s) development ? andwhat about the death of his friend ? How does that fit into the story ?What is the director trying to tell us ? Cheap Hollywood cookie cutter(and not even particularly well done)drama.This must seriously be the worst movie(I refuse to call it a film) Isaw this year. I can't believe people write enthusiastic reviews aboutit.