Barney's Version

2010

Action / Comedy / Drama

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 29, 2020 at 01:07 AM

Cast

Minnie Driver as The 2nd Mrs. P
Paul Giamatti as Barney Panofsky
Dustin Hoffman as Izzy Panofsky
Rachelle Lefevre as Clara 'Chambers' Charnofsky
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.21 GB
1280*544
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 14 min
P/S 1 / 3
2.48 GB
1920*816
English 5.1
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 14 min
P/S 4 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ruth44 9 / 10

Excellent film

I just saw this wonderful film which is an amazing adaption to Richler's story. The acting of the entire cast is extraordinary with Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver and the great Dustin Hoffman giving superlative performances. I sat in a small art-house cinema in a suburb of Tel-Aviv, Israel and the quite large audience (for a Saturday afternoon) enjoyed the film in total silence. You could have heard a pin drop (and that doesn't happen very often!).

I note that some reviewers were offended by the fact that some of the characters were unpleasant Jews. Well, that happens in life and as a Jew I wasn't offended one little bit. Like every other people we have nice and not nice people and I found the film to be very truthful, very funny and also very sad. An exceptional achievement!

Reviewed by DonFishies 9 / 10

A delightful adaptation packed with excellent dialogue and even better performances

Of the few movies I really wanted to see but missed at this year's past Toronto International Film Festival, Barney's Version is the one that I regretted the most. It was one of the few shining examples of Canadian film on display at the festival (and was anchored by the fact that it was based off the critically acclaimed final novel by Canadian literary icon Mordecai Richler), but apparently I was not the only one aiming to see it. And after seeing the final film nearly five months later, I can see why.

Barney (Paul Giamatti) is an aging television producer, divorced and comforted only by his cigars and rash drinking habits. As a new book is released detailing some sordid details of an event Barney would rather forget, he starts to look back on his life and all the many mistakes he made. And after three failed marriages, "many" may not be the apt word to describe them.

I had read Barney's Version as a forced assignment in my final year of high school, and never finished it cover to cover. It was dense, lengthy, rambled for pages on end, and just did not feel satisfyingly cohesive. It was punctuated throughout with hilarity, tragedy, and sorrow, but never wallowed in it. You could practically smell the detail of the characters wafting off each page. And as the title suggests, it was the story of Barney's life, as told by Barney. It was a somewhat enjoyable book, but having almost failed the assignment, my memories of it are rather tarnished.

To my delight, this is not how the movie feels at all.

As opposed to a literal page to screen translation, Michael Konyves has instead whittled and simplified the narrative down to the basics. He changes, updates and moves a few things around, and loses others completely. While this may outrage some fans of the book, it makes the film all the easier to digest. It never gets lost in what it is trying to say, and never falls into any of the densely boring traps the novel set out for itself. The odd and intimate details of each character are still here (more so from the principal cast than the supporting players), as is the snappy and hilarious dialogue. And for the entire running time, the film stays in Richler's unique voice, never straying into unknown or lesser territory in any instance. For someone who has previously worked mainly in television, this is an excellent achievement and one that makes me look forward to Konyves future projects.

As a Canadian myself, it pains me to note that the majority of films I see are of foreign creation. So it was with great surprise that Barney's Version, a Canadian film, looked and felt just as good as any film coming out of the likes of the United States. The sweeping decades-long set design, costumes, makeup and soundtrack are all handled excellently as well. The little quips about Montreal and Canadian life are great, as are the small blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos by some of the country's most famous auteurs. And unlike so many Canadian-made films, Barney's Version stays true to the nation of its birth but never force feeds Canadiana down the audience's throats. This of course, is a small quip that may not be noticed in the slightest by most audiences. But it is one that should be duly noted for all future Canadian productions nonetheless.

As Barney, Giamatti is stunning and perfect as always. He is one of the most talented and underrated character actors of his generation, and he continues to prove his worth and excellence here. Barney's life is an emotional roller-coaster, and Giamatti gives his all to make the audience really feel for this pathetic, misguided, adolescent shell of a man. It reminded me a lot of his work in Sideways, and is likely his strongest work to date. No matter what emotion or word he is trying to convey, you will hang on every sound and look. He just keeps getting better with each new year, each new role. This is not quite the inspired brilliance of Colin Firth in The King's Speech, or the emotional powerhouse of James Franco in 127 Hours, but it is yet another example of how criminally overlooked he is come award season.

The rest of the cast is fairly solid, no matter their screen time. Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver and especially Rosamund Pike are all excellent as Barney's wives, as is Scott Speedman as his best friend Boogie. But they are all overshadowed by Dustin Hoffman in the role of Barney's father Izzy. He steals the show from just about everyone, providing more gusto and depth than he has in years. And it does not hurt that he has the most hilariously devastating moment in the entire film.

If I have to hold anything against the film at all, it is in the fact that it loses its momentum much too soon. The entire first half of the film almost feels like whiplash from how fast-paced it moves along. But once the second half comes, and the emotional weight of the movie kicks into gear, it slows down a bit too hard. It never becomes boring, and never drags its heels like the book does, but it just lacks the power and finesse of everything that comes before it. The zest and drive of the film are always there, but with how much has been altered and changed to make the film more accessible to audiences, I think they could have done a bit more to keep the film going for its entire 132-minute running time.

Barney's Version is a revelation of a film, packed with a great story, excellent dialogue and even better performances. This is one of the unsung best films of the year, and one that has and will continue to be criminally overlooked.

9/10.

Reviewed by ferguson-6 8 / 10

Bent Over Backwards

Greetings again from the darkness. Ordinarily, a film with Rosamund Pike and Bruce Greenwood in key roles would be sufficient for me to stay home and watch The Nature Channel. However, Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman, as son and father, in a story based on Mordecai Richler's novel was motivation enough for me to buck up and give this one a shot. And what a pleasant surprise this film is.

Giamatti has mastered the role of cynical, self-absorbed, frumpy schlub and his Barney is every bit that. The story is told through extended flashbacks after we learn a detective has written a book accusing Barney of killing his best friend (Scott Speedman). No charges were brought and it's not until the end in an extremely creative reveal that we understand what really happened that day at the lake. Unfortunately, we aren't sure if Barney ever understands, but that's a whole different topic.

Barney's first marriage comes about because his girlfriend gets pregnant. This one ends in tragedy and betrayal and allows Barney to spend much of his life on the path of cynicism, alcoholism and cigar-chain-smoking. He is no pretty sight - from inside or out. He stumbles into his second marriage, this one to Minnie Driver. Ms. Driver is wonderful as the Jewish princess with a Master's Degree. How do we know? She continually reminds us of both facts. Ever known anyone that just constantly reminds you of how smart they are? How this marriage ends leads to the whole suspicion of murder and loss of best friend for Barney.

The real key to the story occurs at the wedding. Instead of worshiping his new bride, Barney watches hockey, does shots with his Dad (Dustin Hoffman) and experiences love at first sight ... not with his bride, but with a guest played by Rosamund Pike. This encounter puts Barney on a singular mission of winning over Ms. Pike, despite his marriage to Driver. Can't really give anything away here other than the story is very clever in how it handles the pursuit, failed marriage and subsequent true love story.

Only thing is, Barney never really "gets" what true love is. Pike has a wonderful scene where she explains that life and love are in "the seconds, the minutes, the routines". Barney nods but is clearly in over his head in so many ways.

What I really appreciate about this story is how there are so many relationships that seem to spring from reality ... people we know in situations we've been in. The title, of course, refers to Barney's version of reality. How he sees things. We could each replace his name with ours for a movie on our life. Do we see reality, or is reality how we interpret these seconds, minutes, routines? The answer seems pretty clear.

The film is directed by Richard J. Lewis (not the comedian) but is really a product of the amazing story and talented cast led by the extraordinary performance of Giamatti. Dustin Hoffman's scenes are all excellent, and his real life son Jake, plays his grandson in the film. Don't miss the quick scenes featuring standout directors Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg and Ted Kotcheff. It's also character actor extraordinare Maury Chaykin's final film. And I certainly can't omit mention of the fabulous soundtrack featuring T-Rex, JJ Cale, Donovan and others. Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" plays over the closing credits so don't leave early!

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