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Barney's Version (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The story of the politically incorrect life of Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti), who meets the love of his life at his wedding - and she is not the bride. A candid confessional, told from Barney‘s point of view, the film spans three decades and two continents, taking us through the different —acts of his unusual history. There is his first wife (Rachelle Lefevre), a flagrantly unfaithful free spirit; His second wife (Minnie Driver), a wealthy Jewish Princess; His third wife, Miriam (Rosamund Pike), the mother of his two children, and his true love. With his father, Izzy (Dustin Hoffman) as his sidekick, Barney takes us through his long and gloriously full life, played out on a grand scale.

Special Features

Commentary with Director Richard J. Lewis, Writer Michael Konyves and Producer Robert Lantos
Behind the Scenes of Barney's Version
Mordecai Richler: Barney's Version
On the Red Carpet
92nd Street Y Q&A With Paul Giamatti & Annette Insdorf

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Scott Speedman
  • Directors: Richard J. Lewis
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004G8QO6Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,088 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Barney's Version (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Lew Goodman on March 9, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I initially saw "Barney's Version," having never heard of it, at its New York premiere, expecting Dustin Hoffman to be there. He wasn't, but, that night, I experienced something I never had before (I'm 60). Yes, I had never cried so much from a film after laughing so much from the same film. Paul Giamatti wuz robbed, as he shoulda won the Oscar. Sure, Colin Firth was excellent, but Paul's acting was on a level that we experience perhaps once in a decade. Dustin is as terrific as he was in "Midnight Cowboy" & "Rain Man"--only subtler. Rosamund Pike, wearing auburn wigs throughout the film, is wonderful--a former Bond girl and Oxford graduate from England (in real life) as the most desirable woman one could ever imagine--brains, beauty, body, & wit to boot--the very essence of tranquility. I think that, for example, Jack Nicholson, Bette Davis, and Katharine Hepburn is/were great. However, there is/was always a bit of Jack, Bette & Kate in all their films and in real life. Rosamund transcends that trio, because she has created, with amazing intensity and with an American accent, someone who could never exist, except in our hearts and minds. And in every one of her scenes, it is virtually impossible to look at anyone else. There is a scene, immediately after the protagonist's second wedding, that I found to be the most exciting of my life. Too bad I can't give it away. Well, I can, but that wouldn't be nice. Minnie Driver, as wife # 2 (of 3), is simply marvelous--acting at its peak. Many supporting players are superb as well. I'll single out Harvey Atkin, as Barney's second father-in-law, Thomas Trabacchi, as Barney's close friend from Italy, and Scott Speedman, as Barney's heroin & cocaine-using & opium & hashish-smoking best friend.Read more ›
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 16, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Barney's Version is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Canadian author Mordecai Richler.

Barney's Version is at its heart the life of Barney Panofsky, a Jewish man from Montreal who seems at once blessed by fate with opportunities but cursed by flaws that ultimately undo him. Irascible and impulsive, he has a charm that endears even as his behavior often appalls. He has the gift of recognizing the spark of creative genius in others but is seemingly incapable of producing it himself, spending most of his adult life as a producer of a long-running (and painfully banal) Canadian TV soap opera - Constable O'Malley of the North - through his company, the sardonically-named Totally Unnecessary Productions.

The film begins with Barney, on the eve of celebrating his soap opera's 30th year of production, having to contend with the publication of a book by an ex-cop purporting to reveal how Barney is guilty of murder. What follows is Barney's Version of the events of his life, starting with his semi-hedonistic hanging about with friends in Europe when he was in his 20's, quickly careening through two disastrous marriages until he meets the one true love of his life, Miriam, who's a guest at his second wedding.

As a film, Barney's Version suffers from the choices made for the adaptation by the scriptwriter Michael Konyves, both in terms of the framing, which reduces the overall impact that came across in the novel, and in the reductions and compressions which make some of the characters come across as two-dimensional and others at times baffling in terms of their actions and decisions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark Turner on June 30, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
BARNEY'S VERSION is one of those movies that critics love. They talk about the depth of the story, the fantastic acting, the way the movie felt and looked. And for once those who would discuss these and others items of the film have it right. This is one fine movie.

Paul Giamatti stars as Barney Panofsky, a studio producer looking back at his life. When it opens we see him doing his best to disrupt the life of his ex-wife by calling her husband at 3AM. From there we see him stopping at his favorite bar only to be hassled by an ex-police detective who's just released a book about the murder of Barney's best friend Boogie (Scott Speedman), a murder that the detective still believes Barney committed. But the body was never found. This confrontation leads to Barney's reflecting on his life.

We're taken back to the early 70s when Barney was living in Europe surrounding himself with bohemian friends all interested in art. But this isn't a world Barney can be a part of, just an observer of. He marries a free spirit believing he is the father of her child only to part ways with her once the baby is lost and he discovers there was no way he was the father. On a binge with his friend Boogie, he misses a message and goes to his wife only to find she's committed suicide.

Barney returns to Canada where he gets work with his uncle and eventually becomes a studio head. Along the way he is introduced to a young woman who catches his eye played by Minnie Driver. This woman is a non-stop talker whose father is a wealthy man. He also possesses the attitudes of such a man, greatly displayed when a dinner for the two prior to their marrying is held.
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