In spite of Mr. Giamatti's ferociously energetic performance Barney's Version never figures out just who Barney is.
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Barney's Version is one of those rare films whose caricature of life undeniably illuminates. It's the vivid story of the topsy-turvy character so flawed you love him despite yourself.
Even if you can forgive the crude JAP caricatures (et tu Minnie Driver?) and the blatantness of the film's attempts to make you sob, you're still left with lovely actors stuck in a lackluster cover version of the real thing.
Barney's Version misses every opportunity for raucous picaresque fun that the book throws its way, while squandering a wealth of transatlantic performing talent led by Paul Giamatti.
The highbrow intentions of Barney's Version suffer from a constant pile up of dead ends.
A sour, plotless and witless comedy-drama based on the final Mordecai Richler novel, wants to remind you of "Sideways" and its forlorn drink-moistened soul search. Giamatti is an ideal casting choice, but even this talented actor can't sell a lovable-jerk
A feisty domestic comedy about a curmudgeon with a heart, looking back over his misspent life.
Paul Giamatti, dialing down his trembly-voiced neurotic energy to good effect, gives a holy hell of a performance as Barney Panofsky.
An overstuffed odyssey that, while disappointing on many levels, has standout performances by Paul Giamatti.
Barney's Version is too much of a sprawl to have much of a lasting emotional effect.