Barney’s Version--Directed by Richard J. Lewis/ Starring Paul Giamatti, Macha Grenon, Paul Gross, Dustin Hoffman/ written by Michael Konyves based on the novel by Mordecai Richler/rated R/132 minutes
(G) A couple of years ago, I was dropping Barbara off at the airport when guess who came off a flight? If you guessed Paul Giamatti, then you are correct. Well, I had just seen his portrayal of John Adams and this was the night of the Golden Globes (which he had been nominated for in the Best Actor category). I walked up to him, shook his hand and said, “Congratulations on your upcoming win tonight.” I was that confident that he was going to take home the prize. I was not so confident for him just a few minutes ago, when he beat out a stellar group of actors to garner the prize once again. This was such a rough year in every category, but Paul Giamatti, once again won the award for this picture. I have to say, I liked it quite a bit more than my friend, Ed Rampell who invited me to a screening at the L.A. Film Academy, on Sunset in Hollywood. He had some questions about a few details of the script, and believed that Dustin Hoffman (who is great, as always) had the superior performance. I, on the other hand, thought it was an absolutely delightful script and directed with a “not too heavy hand.” The story is an unusual one, to some degree, but fulfills all the requirements of good movie-going entertainment. Again, I must emphasize that this is one tough year for award-show competitors, but Paul Giamatti was great, as usual. I have to give this one a solid three, which means that the “top” of the list is getting pretty crowded. I have to HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who is interested in scriptwriting OR acting as a profession...especially, acting.