Barney's Version

(2010)

Genres: Drama

Review: Barney's Version

Transcript for Review: Barney's Version

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Our next film is BARNEY’S VERSION.  Now when you're looking for a curmudgeon with a heart of gold, Paul Giamatti is your man and here he gets to show off the full range of his talents.  He can be gruff and sweet, sharp-witted and hopelessly screwed up.  Giamatti stars as Barney Panofsky, a Canadian TV producer looking back on his life and the many loves who’ve defined it.  There's the first wife, a free-spirit played by Rachelle Lefevre, and his second wife, a shrew played by Minnie Driver, but he meets the woman who would have the biggest impact on him in the least opportune place.

CLIP
>> No I'm bent overbackwards in love with you. Miriam I'm heels over head.
>> Don't be ridiculous we just met at your wedding. It's not funny.

CHRISTY : The woman he met would become his third wife the mother of his two children and his true love, the brainy and classy Miriam played by Rosamund Pike. Along the way, Barney gets advice from his father played by a boisterous Dustin Hoffman.

CLIP
>> Maybe you should just take a step back before you do something rash and take a good hard look at this situation. You're married to a well bred woman who is loaded. Makes a nice flaky coogle. Has a beautiful rack and many successful marriages have been built on far less.

CHRISTY:
The heart of the film, based on the novel by popular Canadian writer Mordecai Richler, is the long standing bond between Barney and Miriam.  Giamatti can be larger than life figure, but Pike is always his equal playing a complicated role with infinite grace.

CLIP
>> We had a beautiful marriage but it's over and I want you to accept that.
>> Have I ever given up when it comes to you?
>> Never.
>> So what makes you think I'm going to start now?

CHRISTY:
Now you know they shouldn't be together.  You know she deserves better and yet you can't help rooting for him to finally get something right.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
I think we are three for three now.

CHRISTY:
Aw, So sweet, so friendly.

IGNATIY:
On the previous show we didn't agree on anything and now we agree on everything. However I don't think I like it quite as much as you do.  I think the movie is good but unremarkable.

CHRISTY:
I don't love it, but I think he's good in it.

IGNATIY:
He gives a strong performance.  The film gives him a lot of opportunity to do a lot with characters, especially because it’s set over such a long period of time.  He gets to play him as an old man, he gets to play him as a relatively young man.

CHRISTY:
Young party boy in the 70s.

IGNATIY:
Yeah, yeah in the early 1970s, and it’s often a very good looking movie.  It’s a very lovely cinemascope-style cinematography and good use of some Italian locations as well.

CHRISTY:
I like how each woman in his life is very distinct, but none of them is ever a type. It's not like one is horribly over the top and one is perfect for him. They are all kind of --

IGNATIY:
On the other hand I feel like Minnie Driver's performance sort of borders on parody.

CHRISTY:
She's naggy.

IGNATIY:
I feel like that's the weakest part of the film.

CHRISTY:
There are some surprises there with her, though, too.   She's not everything you think she's going to be.

IGNATIY:
But she’s still, kind of, you know – She does nag him constantly and it is almost a caricature. I really like Dustin Hoffman's performance in this. I don't feel like Dustin Hoffman has, really, been trying too hard lately.

CHRISTY:
Because he’s Dustin Hoffman and he doesn't have to?

IGNATIY :
He’s got Robert DeNiro syndrome.  But here, there’s a very good chemistry between him and Giamatti.  They make a very convincing father and son.  Also, Dustin Hoffman looks very good with a mustache. I don't think he wears a mustache enough in movies. 

CHRISTY: 
We’ll have to let him know!