Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Barney's Version: More Information About The Movie

Tonight I had the opportunity to see Paul Giamatti do his fabulous thing in the The Illusionist(good movie, go watch it if you haven't), which motivated me to find out more about Barney's Version. We've all heard a lot about it over the last week or so, but mostly only in the context of Rachelle Lefevre losing her role as Victoria to Bryce Dallas Howard over the movie. So what the heck is this thing about?

For starters, it's based on a novel. Barney's Version was written by Mordecai Richler, who seems to be pretty much the King of Canadian literature. Seriously. Click through the link to his wikipedia page and tell me there's an award out there he hasn't won yet.

Here are the highlights:
  • Barney's Version was published in 1997.
  • They've been trying to make this thing into a movie for the last 12 years.
  • It's a biography of sorts of the main character, Barney Panofsky.
  • Barney's a television producer.
  • Barney may or may not have murdered his best friend, Boogie, for sleeping with his second wife.
  • Some of Barney & Boogie's mutual friends are pissed about that, and put out a book about Barney's life that pretty much calls him out as the lowest of the low.
  • Barney has to fight back, hence Barney's Version.
Here's more about Rachelle Lefevre's character in the movie, Clara Charnofsky.
  • Clara is Barney's first (of three) wives.
  • They meet in Paris, so I guess part of the movie must be getting filmed there after all? The rest is being filmed in Montreal, fyi.
  • She's a best-selling poet, so this is no decorative bimbo role.
  • She gets to commit a Sylvia Plath style suicide. Barney gets blamed for that, too.
All in all, it's not a bad role. Throw in that Rachelle was born in Canada, and has the chance to make a movie based on a book that was written by Richler, who is revered there, and you can see that she's not exactly ditching the Twilight Saga for crap.

Who else is in this so far? Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Scott Speedman, Minnie Driver, and Bruce Greenwood. And those are just the names I recognize. Essentially, if you're worth squat on the Canadian scene, you've put in for a part in this movie. So Rachelle will be getting to rub noses with some serious contenders from every corner of the industry.

The film is being directed by Richard J. Lewis, who pretty much owns CSI. He's made tons of TV, mostly thrillers. Maybe more villianess roles for Rachelle? It's being produced by Robert Lantos, who has made 30 movies in French and English over the years. They're mostly serious pieces with big name stars.

All in all . . .I'm kind of impressed by this film, the more I learn about it. I think Rachelle would have been making a huge sacrifice to give up her role in Barney's Version to stay in Twilight, since it will give her the chance to work with everybody who's anybody north of the border.

So will all the drama with Summit be a career killer? My verdict: Nope. This looks like a win to me.

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