One of the Gala entries at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival that I did not anticipate going on to Oscar success was Richard J. Lewis’ comedy Barney’s Version based on the book by Mordecai Richler. The film is an independent comedy, which is one of the genres least appreciated by the Academy and it stars the brilliant Paul Giamatti who is dramatically under-appreciated. However, after seeing the teaser trailer for the film, it may be the case that Barney’s Version could go the way of A Serious Man and breakout at Toronto to unanimous critical praise and numerous awards nominations.
In the one-minute of the film that was teased it definitely looks like a Coen bros. movie. It features the witty and intelligent musings of Paul Giamatti’s Barney Panofsky who has been married three times and deliberately failed at all of them. Barney is blunt and quick to anger causing a rift in his relationships with women. He seeks advice from his like-mannered father Izzy played by Dustin Hoffman who is quicker to criticize than empathize with Barney’s self-created predicament.
Giamatti looks at absolute top form as the depressed and emotional protagonist. It’s the type of character that Giamatti thrives at and seems somewhat similar to his brilliant turn as Miles from Sideways. I would love to see Giamatti receive an Oscar nomination if the role turns out as brilliant as it looks. Hoffman could also score with a supporting nod, although his role seems too light and Minnie Driver also looks great in her supporting role. I’m basing all of this on one minute of footage, so what do I know?
Check it out below and tell me if I’m wrong:
Barney’s Version will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and it will open in theatres in the U.S. later this fall.
[Source: The Playlist]