Barney's Version
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Based on Mordecai Richler's award winning novel -- his last and, arguably, best -- "Barney's Version" is the warm, wise and witty story of the politically incorrect life of Barney Panofsky. The film spans three decades and two continents. There is his first wife, Clara, a flame-haired, flagrantly unfaithful free sprit. The "Second Mrs. P." is a wealthy Jewish Princess who shops and talks incessantly. It is at their lavish wedding that Barney meets, and starts pursuing, Miriam, his third wife, the mother of his two children, and his true love. Not only does Barney… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The movie, much like your own life, is best enjoyed when you don't know exactly what happens next."
‑ Rafer Guzman, Newsday
"Highly entertaining and arguably the most satisfying Richler screen adaptation to date."
‑ Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
"Messy, melodramatic and meandering, just like life."
‑ Roger Moore, Movie Nation
"Director Richard J. Lewis never quite gets a handle on the sprawling storyline and stumbles over the tonal shifts... but Giamatti holds the center together."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"An initially engrossing but progressively rambling and schmaltzy film that's mostly saved by a set of fine, if not exceptional performances."
‑ Aaron Yap,
"Sometimes, when a movie emerges from a book, a crucial ingredient gets left out along the way. In the case of "Barney's Version," it's the wit."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"This has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Giamatti and Hoffman are so much fun, and they are tied to a narrative that, while slightly overambitious, never flags"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"A minor improvement over Mordecai Richler's nigh unreadable book..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Barney's Version starts fumblingly in picaresque mode, and only really hits its narrative and emotional stride in its second half."
‑ Lee Marshall, Screen International
""Barney's Version" has episodes instead of plot, outbursts instead of wit and alibis instead of growth. But it also has a star we'd be willing to watch in "Barney's Version 2.0.""
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The parts are greater than the whole in "Barney's Version," a rambling look at a shambling man's adventures in love."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"It's Giamatti's performance that makes the film work because Barney is not an easy man to like."
‑ Daniel M. Kimmel, The Jewish Advocate
"Paul Giamatti is one of those actors whose presence in a movie generally validates it, and Barney's Version is no exception. He manages to make a central character with few-if any-admirable traits not only bearable but downright compelling. And..."
‑ Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's Picks
"Giammatti is on the top of his game in this Pitch black comedy."
‑ Zach Gibson, Empire Magazine Australasia
More reviews for Barney's Version on Rotten Tomatoes

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