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Barney's Version (2010)
Easily recommendable to those who like the idea of a dramatic exploration of a man's self-destructive experience.
This is the type of heavy emotional drama you assume it will be, the type we sometimes put off watching or avoid altogether because we're not in the mood to sign up for two hours of other people's emotions. It is. But it doesn't descend into the indie-depressing melodramatics of much of Giamattis work and is thus one of the better and more digestible films of his career. Hoffman, while only getting minor screen-time is great, the supporting cast are believable, and Giamatti is still the actor we all know him to be; powerfully conveying a whole slew of emotions simultaneously and with force.
The gist is that this guy lives life to the beat of his impulses, bound to a story of preventable trauma by his stubborn unconscious refusal to ever stop risking everything for what his heart tells him what he wants most. There's some literature-league inspirational content to be found there, but what most comes across in the viewing is a well acted, well written bunch of semi depressing but wonderfully blunt stuff that is more entertaining than you might expect. It won't be for everyone and isn't shy about its bittersweet message, but it's easily recommendable to those who like the idea of a dramatic exploration of one man's self- destructive experience.