Thursday, November 18, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Richard J. Lewis
Writer: Mordechai Richler (novel); Michael Konyves (screenplay)
Cast: Paul Giametti, Macha Grenon, Paul Gross, Atom Egoyan, Mark Camacho, David Pryde, Mark Addy, Minnie Driver, Dustin Hoffman, Saul Rubinek, Howard Jerome, Rosamunde Pike, Rachelle Lefevre et al.
Producer: Robin Lantos
Executive Producer: Mark Musselman
Co-producers: Lyse Lafontaine, Ari Lantos and Domenico Procacci
Original Music: Pasquale Cantolano
Running Time: 134 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Drama

Once again Paul Giamatti give a brilliant portrayal in a small film. The story of Barney Panofsky's "wasted life" and the scandals that occurred during his lifetime and followed him to his grave.

Believed to be the most autobiographical of Mordechi Richler's novels, Barney is an uncomfortable member of Montreal's tightly knit Jewish enclave.

His father (Dustin Hoffman), is a retired Jewish policeman who is outspoken and irascible.

He succeeds easily at business but has less success in the romantic area. Despite that, he marries three times and fathers children.

Wrestling throughout his life with success, failure, friendship, love and finally time. Barney's behavior, both good and bad, is always rippling across the universe.

Barney leads a life of excess. We never fully understand Barney's ability to charm beautiful, intelligent women. There's also the question of whether he got away with murder.

What is a small film is two hours of intelligent portrayals and interesting story. The audience is never bored with Barney and his shenanigans but rather engrossed in what happens.