Remember this year’s Golden Globe Awards?
Hard to believe they were less than a month ago. Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire and The Social Network were the big winners, and Ricky Gervais — with his mean-spirited, low blow jokes — was the biggest loser.
My ‘ah ha’ moment — or maybe it was more of a ‘say wha?’ — was Paul Giamatti’s win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for a little-known movie called Barney’s Version (He beat out Kevin Spacey, Jake Gyllenhaal and two Johnny Depp nods in the process.)
So I decided to give it a look.
Here’s one thing the Hollywood Foreign Press got right. Giamatti is brilliant as Barney in a movie that spans four decades of his life, three marriages, and literally dozens of bad decisions. Whoever cast Dustin Hoffman as Barney’s father must be feeling pretty smug, too, because it was nothing short of inspired.
You can make fun of the Globes all day long and be perfectly justified. But that award alone, and the light it shone on this funny, sad, twisted, lovely film, atones for a multitude of sins.
If Barney’s Version hadn’t won a Globe, it would have no doubt languished on a couple of screens in New York and Los Angeles before calling it a day. Thanks to the Globes, you may get a chance to see it at a ‘theater near you.’