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Review: Barney's Version

Barney's Version follows Paul Giamatti as Barney, a 65-year old television producer, looking back on his life and loves as he approaches the final part of his life.  The story is told primarily through flashbacks exploring how Barney met his wives and consequently left them. The cast are quite solid, although there is one issue with casting - how Paul Giamatti gets these extremely glamorous wives - Rachel Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike), when his character is a bit of an asshole, is one of the main issues. Driver is excellent as the annoying socialite-wannabe second wife, but the best performance in this belongs to Rosamund Pike. Pike plays Miriam, Barney's beautiful and intelligent third wife, and throughout the scenes when Barney's dementia gets worse - her performance is absolutely stunning - very emotional. Dustin Hoffman is also on top scene stealing form as Barney's unconventional father.

Despite these solid performances, the story never seems to take off or gain momentum - the film feels as if it's going nowhere. Marketing of the film would have you believe it's quite a smart comedy, however it's more of a character-drama with rare elements of comedy. I'd recommended this for the performances and the excellent ending, but it does have it's moments when it feels drawn out and flat.


 
Review 5411182553820334172

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