February 23, 2011

Barney's Version - 2011

Director: Richard J. Lewis
Writer: Michael Konyves
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike

"In the beginning, it's all briskets and blowjobs, ain't life grand, yadda yadda, but then real life happens." Told mostly through flashback, this film tells the story of cantankerous Canadian TV producer Barney Panofsky (Giamatti) throughout his three marriages--mostly the third--and unfortunate onset of dementia late in life.

Much like Casino Jack, this is one of those movies that has a really strong central performance, but other element are a bit lacking. Some story elements get introduced and dropped without much notice (including Barney's three friends that all mysteriously disappear after his second wedding). However, any discrepancy is overshadowed by the tour de force that is Giamatti, especially the chemistry with Hoffman as his father; the makeup is certainly NOT the only thing that should be Oscar-nominated. A-

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