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Barney’s Version Movie Review

I had no idea what Barney’s Version was about, but took myself to see it on a quiet Friday night and haven’t stopped thinking about it since! A true gem of a film.


It almost always works in your favour having no idea about a movie before going to see it, or having zero expectations. You’re always pleasantly surprised. Well I had no idea what Barney’s Version was about, but heard David and Margaret give it 4 stars a piece and thought both of them can’t be wrong!

They weren’t wrong – Barney’s Version is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long, long time. One I’d easily see again, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

It’s based on a best-selling Canadian novel and it has that narrative feel about it. It’s described as a tragicomedy and it is that, both heartbreaking and hilarious. It’s the story of Barney, played by the brilliant Paul Giamatti (who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for this role). He’s looking back at his life, from his youth spent in Rome with his arty friends, through his three marriages (Minnie Driver plays wife number 2, she’s just great) and everything in between.

Barney’s dad is played by Dustin Hoffman and this would have to be one of his finest roles. He’s just flawless, and the chemistry between him and Giamatti is so endearing. The relationships are so beautifully created, between him and his best friend Boogie (the very hot Scott Speedman), between him and his children and ultimately between Barney and his third wife, Miriam (Rosamund Pike, another superb star).

The backdrops to this lifestory are gorgeous, like Barney and Miriam’s stroll through Central Park, with all those golden autumnal colours, with the occasional ode to Leonard Cohen.

If you like movies like The World According To Garp you’ll really enjoy Barney’s Version. Definitely 4 stars from me too.

Have you seen Barney’s Version? What did you think?