PAUL GIAMATTI IS BARNEY
The Canadian novelist Mordecai Richler wrote a series of hilarious, partly autobiographical novels about Montreal’s Jewish community, some of which he adapted for the cinema. ‘Barney’s Version’ (2010) tells the vicissitudes of an ordinary man’s life: not particularly talented or good looking or very rich.
Paul Giamatti plays Barney Panofsky, a Montreal entrepreneur who starts out in the 1970s supporting his bohemian friends in Rome as a dealer in olive oil before returning home to work as a Jewish fundraiser and the producer of a popular but terrible TV series through his company Totally Unnecessary Productions (amazing name for your company…).
Barney was married three times, once to a young woman who killed herself, the second time because a rich woman loved him, and on his wedding day he met the love of his life and pursued her until they were married. Two children and a wonderful life and then it falls apart. Barney never recovers, and as he ponders his life in flashbacks, we come to understand where he has been but not where he is going.
Paul Giamatti is one of our favorite actors of last two decades. We discovered him in ‘American Splendor’ (2003), where he also wears boxer shorts. He has picked roles of men who are not particularly distinguished but he makes these men something to behold. After conquering Rosamund Pike’s heart in this film you can see him wearing shorts in the privacy of their home. Our horizontal stripes model Barney takes name of this character and you can find it in light blue or coral lines.