Cinecity Top 10 Poll – 2010 – Barney’s Version
Title: BARNEYS VERSION
With the festival looming, CINECITY has announced it build up campaign, and what kind of movie fan Brightonian would I be if I didn’t get involved. But what is it all about? Read on… CineCity 2012, Brighton Film Festival is approaching, and from 15th November to 2nd December the City will be taken over by films [...]
With the festival looming, CINECITY has announced it build up campaign, and what kind of movie fan Brightonian would I be if I didn’t get involved. But what is it all about? Read on…
CineCity 2012, Brighton Film Festival is approaching, and from 15th November to 2nd December the City will be taken over by films fans attending events in 10 venues including the ever brilliant Duke of York’s Picturehouse. This yearn is a special one as it is the 10th edition. To help with the build up, the boffins behind the festival have asked us fans to come up with our TOP 10 FILMS OF THE LAST 10 YEARS. I have decided to run a series of 10 posts with a feature on my favorite film from the chosen year.
The top films will be compiled and the results will be announced during the festival, but do not panic I will report back here to announce the winners to those of your overseas.
But remember to see your fave, get involved!!
Barney’s Version (2010)
Memory is a tricky thing, especially when we try to recall moments of our life that once seemed so vivid but have since been selected to fade to a forgotten photograph in the far corner of our brain. Barney’s Version adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Mordecai Richler, displays the trickiest of all tricky memories.
The film is a picturesque journey through one mans life, Barney. Now Barney is not a perfect man, he is self-absorbed, self-proclaiming with delusions of grandeur, but above it all he is the most self-critical man you will meet. Paul Giamatti is the titular Barney, he plays the role with such passion and ferocity that you could easily forget that this isn’t a documentary. He displays such a realistic representation of a conniving, seducing, whining, shouting man. In short, Giamatti’s Barney is a deeply human character whose greatest struggle is with himself, a trait that rings true with many, yours truly included.
The film begins at the end of his life, he is an old man drunk-calling his ex-wife in the middle of the night. He is reaching out, as his life is about to be upended.
The upheaval I speak of is a book thats is about to be released by a former cop, played by Mark Addy, that stated that Barney Panofsky murdered his best friend and managed to get away with it! So it seems it is time for Barney to recount HIS version of his life.
From here on out, the film skips between past and present as we look back at the life that aged this cigar munching alcoholic TV producer into the man he is today. We trace him through three marriages and one true love. His third wife he meets on at the wedding reception of his second marriage. Life has a mean sense of humour sometimes!
Miriam, played by Rosamund Pike, is a guest at his wedding and with one conversation Barney falls truly, madly, deeply in love with her. He pursues her relentlessly and in the mean time he gets accused of murder. But would he win the woman of his dreams?
There are so many aspects that this film handles that it is very hard to pigeon-hole it into any particular genre. It has some amazing set pieces that will make you laugh out loud, but it is not really a comedy. It is a heart wrenching love story, but it is not really a romantic film. On top of that there is a murder mystery that will baffle you until the closing shots.
There have been many films that have tried to span a film this wide and failed miserably. As a discerning audience member you will be left jaw open wondering how Richard J Lewis, who was in his first FEATURE FILM directing gig here, could mange to keep all those plates spinning so well for the 2 hour running time.
Barney’s Version is a film lovers delight, as it is filled with strong performances from it’s entire supporting cast as well as it’s leads. Paul Giamatti as I mentioned above is in stellar form as the ordinary guy with a constant battle with his inner self. Rosamund Pike exudes sexuality and grace and is the perfect calming Ying to Barney’s constantly flapping Yang. Minnie Driver has a fairly small role, but she excels as the hen-picking wife. One of my favourite characters and performances was that of Barney’s Dad, played by Dustin Hoffman. His portrayal of the idiosyncratic Jewish Cop, that turns everything into a joke will have you laughing when ever he graces us with his presence on the screen.
I know I say this with pretty much every film these days. Maybe I am just becoming an old man who is a big softie, but Barney’s Version is a crier. I believe this is all due to the realistic characters in a realistic story with the right amount of realistic humour. Everyone can relate to Barney’s struggle and the errors he makes along the way.
Our previous instalments can be found here -
CINECITY BRIGHTON FILM FESTIVAL WILL RUN FROM 15TH NOVEMBER TO 2ND DECEMBER 2012 FOR MORE INFO VISIT THEHOMEPAGE HERE