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Barney's Version 2010

Available in Prime
4.2 out of 5 stars (39) IMDb 7.3/10

Take a ride through the life and memories of Barney Panofsky, a hard-drinking, cigar-smoking, foul-mouthed 65-year old hockey fanatic and television producer, as he reflects on his life's successes and (numerous) gaffes and failures as the final chapters of his own existence come sharply into focus.

Starring:
Paul Giamatti, Macha Grenon
Runtime:
2 hours, 14 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Richard J. Lewis
Starring Paul Giamatti, Macha Grenon
Supporting actors Paul Gross, Atom Egoyan, Mark Camacho, David Pryde, Paula Jean Hixson, Mark Addy, Scott Speedman, Marica Pellegrinelli, Thomas Trabacchi, Clé Bennett, Rachelle Lefevre, Domenico Minutoli, Massimo Wertmüller, Saul Rubinek, Howard Jerome, Sam Stone, Burney Lieberman, Morty Bercovitch
Studio NBC Universal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: Blu-ray
This will not be to everyone's taste - it's not a blockbuster like the Adjustment Bureau. But it does not matter - what it does, it does beautifully on its own terms. It captures what few films can - a story of a life that resonates on so many levels. Is it a story about love - and following it wherever it leads because that is the most important thing for all of us, so hard to find and so easy to lose. Is it about how hard it is to know anyone else - and all the jumbles and misunderstandings that come from that - the muddles that make and break human lives. Is it about living, really living and dieing too and being able to count your friends on one hand. Maybe alittle of all three. The performances are extraordinary; maybe he isn'y so liekable - he's not a Tom Cruise cut out. But he's real, and you do care - and it makes you think about how precious life and love are - and we must not any of us waste a minute. If the film catches you at the right time it will make a difference, and, if not, it's one to store for later, because its time will surely come. Very special.
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Format: DVD
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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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
I regard Paul Giamatti (star of this 2010 Canadian production, directed by Richard J Lewis) as one of the most outstanding actors to have emerged from Hollywood over the last decade or so. It’s particularly refreshing to see someone with Giamatti’s 'unglamorous’ looks (often a limiting factor, in terms of landing leading roles) being given 'star billing’ – even if the actor has (to some extent) been typecast into what are 'success-limited’ (or 'loser’, if you prefer), but ‘character-focused’, roles. Barney’s Version actually gives Giamatti his most expansive, near-epic, acting role (certainly that I’ve seen, anyway) as it charts the life, loves and career of the impulsive, un-PC, Jewish, ice hockey-obsessed and hopelessly romantic, Barney Panofsky. Giamatti’s character here bears more than a passing resemblance to his Miles in (the superior) Sideways – more overblown and less tactful, certainly, but still a complex, confused man, a sucker for romance and ‘suffering’ the influence of anarchic friends.

Running to 130 minutes, Lewis does a generally impressive job in maintaining the film’s pace and level of engagement, with plenty of funny moments (normally delivered by the acerbic and cynical Barney) as our titular 'hero’ moves from an 'artistic, bohemian’ life in Rome to a job back home in Canada in TV production (skilfully told in flashback). Along the way, in addition to Giamatti, there are impressive turns from Rosamund Pike as Miriam, the object of Barney’s persistent romantic obsession, Dustin Hoffman as Barney’s straight-talking, ex-cop, father, Izzy, Minnie Driver, as Barney’s wacky, 'little rich girl’ 2nd wife, and from Harvey Atkin as Barney’s 2nd father-in-law.
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