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Barney's Version [DVD]

Paul Giamatti , Rosamund Pike , Richard J. Lewis    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: £4.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Barney's Version [DVD] + American Splendor [DVD] [2004] + Sideways [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Jake Hoffman, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver
  • Directors: Richard J. Lewis
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 23 May 2011
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004G5Z0E6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,643 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Academy Award® nominated Barney’s Version is a warm and witty story documenting the extraordinary life of seemingly ordinary Barney Panofsky. With a stellar cast including a Golden Globe® winning performance from Paul Giamatti as Barney (Sideways, Cinderella Man), Dustin Hoffman (Meet The Fockers, I Heart Huckabees), Minnie Driver (The the Phantom of The Opera, Good Will Hunting) and Rosamund Pike (Made in Dagenham, An Education), Barney’s Version is set across two continents and spans three decades. Take a flashback journey through the different stages of Barney’s unusual life.

Barney’s Version begins in Rome where Barney meets and marries first wife Clara (Rachelle Lefevre; New Moon, Twilight) a fiery and flame-haired free spirit until he discovers her infidelity with one of his close friends. Encouraged by his father and close confidante (Hoffman), his second shot at marriage sees Barney wed a wealthy Jewish heiress (Driver) who barely notices him switch off whenever she talks. Ironically it is at their wedding Barney meets the third ‘Mrs’ P, Miriam (Pike) who turns out to be his true love and mother to his two children. At times a true romantic, performing acts of gallantry, generosity and goodwill, often when he least expects it; other times acting jealous and wallowing in self pity, Barney certainly lives a packed life, making him an unlikely and captivating hero. An emotional, heartfelt comedy portraying the depths one will go to for love; sometimes getting it right, other times getting it wildly wrong, Barney’s Version is a must see.


The publication of a book accusing him of murder leads schlock television producer Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) to reflect on his tumultuous life--from his troubled first marriage to his best friend sleeping with his second wife to his one true love… and how he destroyed the happiest time in his life. By turns comic and self-lacerating, Panofsky is a richly drawn character given vivid life by Giamatti, who's built a remarkable career on prickly people (Sideways, American Splendor, John Adams). Regrettably, the women in his life aren't as fully realized, but the strong performances from the actresses playing them (Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver, and Rosamund Pike) do a lot to make up for the thinness of how they're written. Rounding out the cast is Dustin Hoffman as Panofsky's father, a crude but vigorous ex-cop who loves his son unreservedly. Adapted from an award-winning Canadian book, Barney's Version feels, in the best sense, like a novel; small details and incidents build up to the picture of a man's life. The movie depicts that life without judgment, never manipulating the audience for cheap laughs or sentiment--and yet it is by turns wildly funny and achingly sad, largely due to Giamatti. He holds the viewer's attention effortlessly, quietly, never showboating his emotions or flaunting his intelligence. He's simply a superb actor, and this is a superb performance. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Sounding not unlike a child's software program - "Barney's Version" is a terrible name for a film and nearly put me off renting this 'journey' movie - I'm glad it didn't.

Produced by Robert Lantos and Directed by Richard Lewis, the screenplay by Michael Konyves is adapted from Mordecai Richler's 1997 book of the same name. Across 30 eventful years, it tells the story of Barney Panofsky - a Monte Cristo smoking, whiskey guzzling chubby man living in Montreal. Barney is the TV Producing equivalent of "Gregory House" - irascible and loveable at the same time. Like his Dad Izzy Panofsky (a scene-stealing Dustin Hoffman) Barney tells it as it is - loves women impulsively - is headstrong in everything he does but has his heart in the right place. But he has a fatal flaw. It isn't that Barney is deliberately cruel or mean, he just keeps on making terrible mistakes over and over again (most of which are of his own making) and learns rather painfully as the years pass and happiness fades that the enemy is not others but 'himself'.

It begins in Rome in 1974 when we're introduced to his motley crew of dead-beat friends - there's Thomas Trabacchi as Leo Fasoli - an Italian artistic genius who has yet to find an appreciative audience, a black friend who does a terrible deed on Barney (he later forgives this) and his best-friend - Boogie. Young, cocky, handsome and fancy-free - Boogie is a full-on babe magnet (played beautifully by Scott Speedman) who can't seem to finish his brilliant first novel as he systematically hoovers up every narcotic he can get his sweaty hands on.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Small Epic 17 April 2012
I didn't think such films were being made any more. A broad sweeping, personal and ultimately very watchable portrait of a man's life in all it's triumph and tragedy, taking place over a number of decades. It's full of humour, humanity, tenderness, conflict and love with some fine acting including a very memorable and enjoyable performance from Dustin Hoffman.

I knew nothing of it when i started watching and didn't know what to expect, maybe a one man 'Sideways' of sorts. But this is something grander and more ambitious in the fact it covers a lot of ground over many years and still finds time to explore and express plenty of depth and character. It's hard to do this kind of film well but it achieves it's aims comfortably with grace and spark.

Thank god they still make films for adults.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bent over backwards in love, heels over head" 7 May 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Barney Panofsky is a financially successful, chubby, cigar-puffing drunkard. He also happens to be a true romantic, dedicated father and husband. Paul Giamatti applies his trademark soulful nuance and facial artistry to glorious effect and superior performances are given all around: Rosamund Pike as Miriam is pure elegance. Scott Speedman's charming, addict artist "Boogie" steals several scenes and Dustin Hoffman plays the dad, Izzy Panofsky, like a mensch, of course. Blonde beauty Rachel Lefevere gives a short & sweet contribution and Minnie Driver nails her rich Jewish girl accent.

The mood morphs from fairly light-hearted early on to deeply moving bummer-ville towards the end but, thankfully, it's an uplifting, meaningful despair. Oscar or not, BARNEY'S VERSION is an all-time gem and ultimate cinematic commiseration
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Traumatising the Rabbi's wife... 2 April 2014
Take a ride through the life and memories of Barney Panofsky, a hard-drinking, cigar-smoking, foulmouthed 65-year old hockey fanatic and television producer.

He reflects on his life's successes, gaffes, and failures as the final chapters of his own existence come sharply into focus.

The 'version' we see is very hard to conclude, considering that with the titular characters failing short term memory, these may be the only memories he really has left.

And considering the episode that gets him remembering, not everything is happy, albeit there are some amazing heartfelt moments.

with the advent of a book release, sparks off Barneys memories, from the death of his first wife, right up to him cheating on his third. here is a man who had/has everything, but isn't happy with the metaphorical perfect life, and wanted a little more.

This is evident when he meets Miriam, he is marrying an already beautiful woman, but he wants more, and found someone hat maybe would make his life complete, maybe he can settle down.

It's never really explained why Barney is like this, he appears to have a fantastic relationship with his father, although when his first wife's father dis-respects the fact that she committed suicide, it really hits a nerve.

There is indication that Barneys father was violent, but only in his occupation, but then his gets you thinking outside of the box.

The film could be set in three pieces, The good old days, where he appears to be a bohemian (wife 1), The middle heavy section, where responsibility is thrown at him hard (wife 2), and finally the third wife, equalling fulfilment, and ultimately yearning for more.

But his is just my opinion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars comparing to the book, disappoinment
much worse than the marvellous book
Published 2 months ago by Lucie Novak
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Seen a few years ago at cinema. A moving story and great performances. Barney is a somewhat self-centred needy character
Published 4 months ago by Belpop
3.0 out of 5 stars Good cast, but slightly off putting
First of all, the casts are all brilliant, and each character is really convincing. The class distinction within the Jewish society in Canada/USA that this film shows is an... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Marco Rossini
4.0 out of 5 stars A film you need to stick with through the first half an hour
I was all set to give up on this film after the first 20 mins or so. I found the lead character rather annoying to tell the truth. Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. R. Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars What an outstanding movie!
I knew he will be good! I always liked him. But his performance made me speechless - which is very uncharacteristic from me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Veronika
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and moving
Starting off with comedy during Barney's youth, it moves through his time back in Montreal as a young man through to his old age. Funny at times but moving too. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alan J
2.0 out of 5 stars not good
I only bought this film as I am a fan of Dustin Hoffman and have a collection of almost all of his films to date. Read more
Published 14 months ago by merlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Barney
What a great movie story with powerful acting ,and is one of my top ten movies ,it highlighted the case of Alzheimer's disease
Published 14 months ago by william ronaldsmith
1.0 out of 5 stars Awesome FIlm - Technical Comment
The other reviews covers how fantastic this little gem of a film are, so I will stick to the technical aspect. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Morten Stjernholm
4.0 out of 5 stars I REALLY THOUGHT IT WAS YOURS
Paul Giamatti plays Barney, an unlikeable fellow made likeable because Paul Giamatti plays him. He is a man who is borderline of needing help, but manages to make it through life... Read more
Published 15 months ago by The Movie Guy
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