Film reviews and movie news



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Barney's Version

Directed by: Richard J. Lewis
Release date: 14 Jan 2011 USA / 28 Jan 2011 UK
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Lafevre, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Mark Addy

She said:

I really cannot make up my mind about this film, which I realise is ridiculously unhelpful for those of you wondering whether to go and see this film or not. If you are that person then my advice is see it, then come back here and help me formuate my opinion.

The film is basically the story of an ordinary man with a not-so-ordinary life. The themes of true love, true friendship and family bonds are there but our cigar-smoking alcoholic hero is hardly endearing. He isn't a loveable ass he is simple a bit of an idiot who doesn't appreciate what he has.

That little rant makes it sound like I am not a fan of this film but I didn't hate it! There were some humorous parts and some very touching parts as well. But the film felt long, a bit too long overall. Perhaps this film was meant to challenge the viewer but, alas, I fear it has just didn't quite hit the mark. I give this film {{{2.5 out of 5}}}

He said:

I had a really hard time taking to Giamatti's character through out the entire film. The hard truth is that I don't think Richard Lewis intended to ever show Barney in a positive light. The tag line for the film reads "First he got married. Then he got married again. Then he met the love of his life."

The trailer shows us from the beginning that Barney meets the love of his life during the wedding reception of his second marriage. I don't know about you, but if I saw the groom at a wedding chatting up a woman that wasn't the bride I wouldn't think many positive things.

This is a good film with a fantastic supporting cast, and if I take into consideration that Giamatti was purposely portraying your run of the mill dirt bag I would have to give him top marks in succeeding in that portrayal. This is a quirky film that presents itself as a tale of woe and one of not being afraid to love who you love no matter what. I give it {{{3.5 out of 5}}}

They said:
It is great in some parts and seriously mislead in others. Some bits are funny, some are just annoying. You are going to have to make up your own mind on this one! We gve it {{{6 out of 10}}}

Question for the comments: Are there any other films you just can't make up your mind about?

1 comment:

  1. As a proud Canadian, I've read Richler but I confess not this book. That makes it hard to determine where the page ended and the film began. I generally enjoyed the movie and left thinking of Barney as a "likeable lug".

    But the more I thought about it, the more I thought the portrayal of women, well ... nasty. I don't want to spoil it for anyone reading this but the women in this film are very close to simplistic caricatures - particularly the wives. The actresses - all three - try to bring the characters to life. Pike is most most successful but there's a 3rd act decision she makes that deflates the entire role for me.

    I'd have rated it 8/10 when I left the theatre but I'd reduce it to 5/10 on reflection.