Barneys Version Movie Review
admovieso | April 7, 2012 | No comments
Paul Giammati plays Barney Panofsky in this new movie release. Barney is a beloved but inevitable loser. New movie “Barney’s Version” is one of those unusual movies that not just mimics life but teaches the viewer about life as well. Barney has lots of things wrong with him but you can’t help loving him. Audiences are going to love not only Barney but his friends and family. Dustin Hoffman plays his chutzpah filled dad who steals scenes – and maybe the whole movie – with his down to earth candidness. This one of the first of the year’s new movies is being released in a limited area and should yield good numbers for Sony Pictures and possibly some attention from the Academy. New movie reviews suggest that this attention will drive up box office receipts.
“Barney’s Version” is an adaptation of Mordechai Richler’s award winning autobiographical novel. Richler doesn’t sugar coat anything and the film doesn’t veer too far from the book in this respect. Barney is a so-so television producer and a hockey lover who spends all of his time at the local bar drinking while his wonderful family life goes by. He’s been both cursed and blessed in life. His first wife committed suicide and his second, played by Minnie Driver, is a bitch who almost pushes him over the edge. Everything about his life is extreme but the audience will never doubt Barney’s reactions.
Even if the audience has never encountered situations like Barneys, they will never doubt the truth of them. This veracity is Barney’s gift and director Richard J. Lewis doesn’t fool around with the formula. The best part of this movie is the details. There are multiple plots and subplots but no soap opera and no histrionics. The movie is funny without it.
Barney somehow finds his one true love, as only Barney could, at his second wedding. Played by Rosamund Pike, Miriam is the angel who captivates Barney. This is Barney’s life – full of odd circumstances and little realism.
This film is going to be remembered for the performances and the characters that Richler created. Giammati is magical as Barney. His performance is nuanced and so natural that the comedy and tragedy are always in balance. Hoffman has a wonderful time as his character. The audience knows that he’s having a good time.