Yes, that’s right. The title is no mistake and neither is the category. This post is about “movies”, or Motion Pictures, as I call them, and I still prefer to publish here before I do so anywhere else. There’s this prestigious website that’s invited me to write stuff about movies, but I prefer to keep my work original and post it here first, despite the ‘royal’ treatment I’ve been shown. Don’t worry, I’m kidding. I’ll still write for both, of course.
So it’s Jews today, or rather one Jew in particular. There’s no antisemitism here, but more like sympathy. Admiration, even. I don’t care what I said about Paul Giamatti at the time of the Globes , it’s of no importance to this topic. What I do care about is Barney’s Version, which I’ve recently seen and am still in awe of. This movie just made my “All Time Top 10” (a list I’m going to talk about in detail within this category – but I digress. Back to the matter at hand).
“The picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky”, as it is described on imdb, managed to move me to tears, and although it was considered for inclusion in the “Comedy-Musical” category by the founders of the Golden Globe Awards, I feel that I can call it a “Drama” without thinking twice about it. I’m happy it got some pretty nice awards and nominations to awards, especially when taking into consideration the wave of good movies lining up for this year’s awards. It’s been “A good year” (to quote another film title) for the film industry, and I’ve seen some real heavyweights come out.
So how did this apparently minor Canadian flick about Canadian Jews, set in Canada manage to sneak into focus, with mammoths like Black Swan, The King’s Speech, The Social Network (like I said, real heavyweights) and more of the sort as competition? I’m not sure, but I’d be willing to bet it’s to do with the acting. I’m lost for words of enough praise for Paul Giamatti’s performance (saying that the guy is ‘more than “very good”, a master, an actor per excellence etc.’ just won’t do), not to mention the rest of the cast. I’ve seen no flaws in the screenplay, although they did repeat some lines of dialogue a bit. That’s no issue, though. Everyone knows real life dialogue is far less exciting, unlike the Oscar-winning dribble in films like As Good As It Gets, where the pretentiously precious lines and industriously and longingly thought-out “funny” monologues are only interrupted by the affectionate “you have no idea”, a line said at least twice by each and every female cast member. I will try not to spoil the pleasure you may have when watching this incredible piece of filmmaking, featuring the life of the very Canadian Barney Panofsky, using the very Canadians Rachelle Lefevre with Scott Speedman, and the great Dustin Hoffman, who definitely deserved the award for Best Supporting Actor.
The Academy nominated them for best make-up. A shame. They won best make-up, but at the Jutra Awards, not the Oscars. As I said, a shame and a lot of bad luck. I was wrong when I mocked the Golden Globes because of the uninspired nominations for a French movie remake with Depp and Jolie. Kudos to them for finding a way to get Barney’s Version into the awards after all, by fitting it into a category it had no business in. I can only say heil for this maneuver. All of them were brilliant. The whole team, visible on the poster. If you haven’t already seen this film in a cinema, I wholeheartedly recommend buying it.
(by the way, all captions are credited © 2010- Sony Pictures Classics) Click the poster and you get to zoom in a check it out better. I prefer this to having integrated it into the post in full size.
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