Alcoholic, Barney Panofsky (Giamatti), decides to write about his "wasted" life.
" That rumpled grumpus Paul Giamatti seizes the title role in Barney's Version, summoning irresistibility and irritability to create a character as endearing as he is galling. "
" The biggest shock of recognition comes from looking at Giamatti's deeply flawed Barney and spotting a bit of ourselves gazing back. "
" 'Barney's Version'' is a smart, well-acted two hours at the art house, full of witty observations and fellow feeling. But, really, it has no business being a movie. "
" The fact that we can stand to watch Barney without walking out is testament to Richler's story, Michael Konyves' screenplay and Lewis' direction. "
" The script doesn't need to convince us that the prickly and incorrigible Barney Panofsky is, in the end, someone worth caring about. Paul Giamatti's performance already did. "
" The parts are greater than the whole in "Barney's Version," a rambling look at a shambling man's adventures in love. "
" In Barney's Version, Paul Giamatti does what he does best: He plays a guy who is deeply flawed, occasionally heroic, perfectly normal and utterly fascinating. "
" Yes, it's well acted and frequently touching. But it's the thoughtful, tasteful indie-film version. It's not exactly Barney's version. "
" This has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length. "
" Paul Giamatti can do spunky (Cinderella Man) and stately (John Adams), but he's at his best turning potentially loathsome men into sympathetic characters that command your attention. "
" 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. "
" Highly entertaining and arguably the most satisfying Richler screen adaptation to date. "
" We care about him from the opening moments until the end of this fairly long movie because we believe that his needs are enormous and that his passions and his loves are real. "
" A master acting class, courtesy of Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman. "
" I wish I responded to this shrewdly acted, rather dutiful picture the way I did to the tumultuous Richler adaptation I saw and loved as a 13-year-old, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," starring a vibrant young Richard Dreyfuss. "
" There's enough Richler-derived scope and sophistication to provide grown-up appeal, and Dustin Hoffman kicks in some memorable scene-stealing as Giamatti's embarrassingly no-nonsense old dad. "
" It's an impossible task trying to squeeze Mordecai Richler's sprawling novel about an SOB into one little movie. But they lucked out with first-rate actors. "
" "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." "
" There is a lot of truth in "Barney's Version." It is a mercy that Barney cannot see most of it. "
" The movie, much like your own life, is best enjoyed when you don't know exactly what happens next. "
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