DVD: Barney's Version (15)
Friday 20 May 2011
Paul Giamatti excels in this heartfelt and bold adaptation of Mordecai Richler's fictional memoir.
He plays Barney Panofsky, a never satisfied, deeply flawed (he drinks heavily and is always puffing on a costly cigar) Canadian TV producer who glumly works his way through three marriages.
We first encounter him as an older man trundling into Grumpy's Bar, where he's berated by a cop (Mark Addy) about a murder he was supposed to have committed years ago. The film then flashes back to the key moments in this self-centred/romantic fool's life. We learn that he's a paranoid and provocative character who doesn't get on with father-in-laws, although he very much loves his own smutty ("You're married to a woman who has a beautiful rack!") and oddball dad, Izzy (Dustin Hoffman in his best film role in over 20 years).
His first marriage is to an unhinged free-spirit (Rachelle Lefevre), the second is to a Jewish princess (a gamey Minnie Driver), and he meets his third, Miriam, at his marriage to "the second Mrs P". The fragrant, cerebral Miriam (Rosamund Pike) is the love of his life, and, outrageously, he leaves his second wedding to track her down to a train station. Once there, he professes, clumsily, that he's "heels over head" about her. He bombards her with flowers until she succumbs. But this grump can never be content...
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia