Friday, March 4, 2011

At The Movies: Indie Picks This Weekend

This Canadian indie had barely been released in the U.S. when Paul Giamatti was awarded with a Golden Globe for Best Actor/Comedy earlier this year.

Based on the novel by Mordecai Richler, the film spans three decades in the life of Barney Panofsky. In reaction to a "tell-all" novel published about his life, Barney tells his side of the story. A major difficulty in remembering all the details in his story is that he's been quite drunken during many key moments along the way.

The film comes to life thanks to its stellar cast, including Dustin Hoffman as Barney's father and Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike who portray all three of Barney's ex-wives. Bursting with political incorrectness, this is not your only chance to see Giamatti's excellent work this year. His next film, Sundance favorite Win Win, debuts locally during SXSW and will open on area screens April 8th.

Giamatti's Golden Globe win did not translate into any love from the Academy (the film's lone Oscar nomination was for Best Makeup), but Barney's Version is a nominee in eleven categories (including Best Picture and Best Actor) at next week's Genie Awards, which is the Canadian film industry's answer to the Oscars.

With the SXSW Film Festival beginning next week, we're putting this column on hold for the following two weeks. It will resume on March 25th. Our staff writers will be posting previews, reviews and feature articles about many festival selections, so be sure to follow us for breaking SXSW coverage.

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