Barney’s Version

If you’re like me you can watch anything with Paul Giamatti in it and enjoy it even if it isn’t that good (don’t worry this is), he just tends to bring something to every role and Barney’s Version is no exception. His performance throughout is remarkable to the point that by the end of the film you generally feel for the character even though he is outspoken, cigar chomping, drunk with questionable morals. The story is told over a thirty year period and across various countries as Barney reflects on a life lived. We see Barney through three marriages and plenty of ups and downs, some not his doing, but most are. He gets advice from his retired cop dad played brilliantly by Dustin Hoffman and ends up fathering two children with his third wife Miriam played again brilliantly by Rosamund Pike. Part drama, part murder mystery it is based on a novel by Mordecai Richler so the script is tight but even the dashes of comedy can’t prepare you for the moving final act. Great cinematography, supporting cast and pacing all add to the central performances to make this one of the best indie drama films to come out of American in 2010.

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