Q: What’s the movie about?
A: Based on a book by Mordecai Richler, Barney's Version is the story of some guy named Barney (Paul Giamatti), as he partakes in life, loves, and possibly the murder of his best friend. It's a character piece.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Dustin Hoffman, Scott Speedman, Minnie Driver, Bruce Greenwood, Rachelle Lefevre, Saul Rubinek, Mark Addy, Jake Hoffman, Anna Hopkins, Macha Grenon
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Proceed with Caution. The first two hours are very compelling, even though the final extraneous 20 minutes, meanders around until it became clear that the rest of the movie isn't really about anything either.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: Paul Giamatti plays his usual slightly lovable curmudgeon, so there are a fair number of laughs from that, but my favorite humor comes simply from the names of the places. You see, he works at Totally Unnecessary Productions, and drinks at Grumpy's bar. And you even believe these locations are real, because the movie takes place in Canada... Oh, those silly Canadians!
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: The extraneous 20 minutes at the end are pretty sad, but I would've rather just cut that part altogether. Why? Because it's extraneous.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: It's currently in a one week Oscar qualifying release in Los Angeles, so that it can be considered for Academy Awards even though it's really coming out in a month, after it's too late to be considered for 2010. So obviously they think they have something.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Dustin Hoffman is fantabulous. His son, Jake, while much better looking than his father, seems poised to follow in the footsteps of John Ritter's and Tom Hanks' sons, by not even deserving to carry the same last name as a man whose shoes he will never come close to filling. Minnie Driver plays the most annoying character in the world, and yet, this may be the most attractive she's ever looked on screen. (Kristen Bell may want to take some pointers from her.) And Rosamund Pike, when her hair is dyed brown, looks indisputably half-Asian.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: Most of the time it is fast-paced and engaging, and then suddenly, in just one or two places, it slips into photographic montages that don't match the style of the rest, and therefore come off like fixes to parts of the film that probably weren't working.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: If you've been reading along with me, you already know my feelings about why biopics rarely work. So what kind of person makes a biopic about a made-up person who's not even real or famous?
Q: Where can I see the trailer?
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