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Monday, July 4, 2011

Barney's Version - Paul Giamatti Dustin Hoffman - Movie Review

"Barney's Version"  is a screen adaptation of Mordecai Richler's novel. It stars stars Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman

I never read the Richler's book, but after seeing Barney's Version really should.  This film has so many wonderful touching and painful elements it is as if director, Richard J. Lewis, and the writer, Michael Konyves conjured up every great idea they ever had and squeezed it into one more, with very satisfying results.

Personally, this is a film I really can appreciate.  Giamatti acts flawlessly and is the ultimate anti-hero with a very human side to him.  His is a very flawed man but somehow you keep rooting for him and his intense,  bumbling romantic intensity.

Barney's Version is film that follows the characters through 30 years of flashbacks. This movie is a testimony to the idea that big changes in life are not the result of thought out, strategic decisions, rather huge changes, or tipping points, often occur from very brief, chance, spontaneous actions.  That simple decision to pick up or not pick up the phone could alter one's life forever and the film is filled with these innuendos without becoming complicated or too cluttered with ideas.

While did think the film was a tad long at 2 hours and 15 minutes, I loved it all the same. The cast was really terrific.  You'll love Dustin Hoffman as the eccentric, yet fatherly former policeman.  Minnie Driver, who I don't remember being ever more beautiful, and plays snobbery to a tee without coming across trite.

A very fresh and sentimental film to watch.

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