Monday, February 3, 2014
Barney's Version (2010) [R] ****
Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) has lived a very messy life. Driven by his passions, his fearless, impulsive actions have often been ill-considered and with total disregard for their consequences. Living in Montreal, Barney works for the aptly-named Totally Unnecessary (T/U) Productions, where he produces a terribly mediocre, but long-running, daytime soap opera. The trail of wreckage that is Barney's life includes marital infidelities and failed marriages, two children, and the suspicious death of a longtime friend. Through it all Barney clings to two strong relationships... his father Izzy (Dustin Hoffman) and his third wife and all-consuming love Miriam (Rosamund Pike).
This character-driven romantic drama features an inspired screenplay, outstanding performances by Giamatti (for which he won a Golden Globe award), Hoffman, and Pike and by Minnie Driver as Barney's second wife, sensitive direction and editing, wonderful makeup, costumes, sets and cinematography, and an evocative soundtrack including some memorable Leonard Cohen songs. If you enjoy character-driven romantic drama, don't miss Barney's Version.
Labels: drama, romance
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=67, viewers=74)