Richard J. Lewis
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Based on Mordecai Richler's prize-winning comic novel--his last and, arguably, best--BARNEY'S VERSION is the warm, wise, and witty story of Barney Panofsky, (Paul Giamatti), a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. A candid confessional, told from Barneys point of view, the film spans four decades and two continents, taking us through the different acts of his unusual history. There is his first wife, Clara, (Rachelle Lefevre), a flame-haired, flagrantly unfaithful free sprit with whom Barney briefly lives la vie de Boheme in Rome. The Second Mrs. P., (Minnie Driver), is a wealthy Jewish Princess who shops and talks incessantly, barely noticing that Barney is not listening. And it is at their lavish wedding that Barney meets, and starts pursuing, Miriam (Rosamund Pike), his third wife, the mother of his two children, and his true love. With his father, Izzy (Dustin Hoffman) as his sidekick, Barney takes us through the many highs, and a few too many lows, of his long and colorful life. Not only does Barney turn out to be a true romantic, he is also capable of all kinds of sneaky acts of gallantry, generosity, and goodness when we and he-- least expect it. His is a gloriously full life, played out on a grand scale. And, at its center stands an unlikely hero the unforgettable Barney Panofsky. Produced by Robert Lantos, whose quest to bring Richler's sprawling narrative to the screen took more than a decade, the film was directed by Richard J. Lewis from a screenplay by Michael Konyves. Co-produced by Lyse Lafontaine, Domenico Procacci, and Ari Lantos, BARNEY'S VERSION is a Serendipity Point Films production made in association with Romes Fandango and Montreal-based Lyla Films. Mark Musselman is executive producer.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 131
- Fresh: 105
- Rotten: 26
- Average Rating: 6.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Highly entertaining and arguably the most satisfying Richler screen adaptation to date.
Fresh: 'Barney's Version'' is a smart, well-acted two hours at the art house, full of witty observations and fellow feeling. But, really, it has no business being a movie.
Fresh: The movie, much like your own life, is best enjoyed when you don't know exactly what happens next.
Rotten: This has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length.
Not Mordecai's Version
What a steaming piece of garbage! The book is a virulently funny and satirical look at life through the jaded eyes of Barney, who's recounting his life story as he suffers from Alzheimer's. The first person narration is a classic example of an increasingly unreliable narrator, and makes this the only one of Richler's books that is as much tragedy as comedy. So we have to lose the first person narration, but then the film makers sanitize all the satire, so no one gets offended by anything, and there's a bland chick-flick left. Not a good one, just something inoffensive that is utterly and immediately forgettable. Well acted, by a cast who deserved better material.
Excellent movie! First class acting and Paul Giammatti really shone in the lead role. Added plus Rosamund Pike! Great entertainment!
Magnificent...not for everyone....you need a brain and a touch of humor to get it
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2010
- © 2010 Three Amigos Productions Inc, Three Amigos (Quebec) Productions Inc. and Fandango S.R.L.