Barney's Version (2010) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky.

  • Take a ride through the life and memories of Barney Panofsky, a hard-drinking, cigar-smoking, foulmouthed 65-year old hockey fanatic and television producer, as he reflects on his life's successes and (numerous) gaffes and failures as the final chapters of his own existence come sharply into focus.

  • In Montreal, Barney Panofsky produces a long-running soap. He has two grown children and an ex-wife, now in New York City with her second husband. Barney hopes to win her back. A nasty cop has just published a book accusing Barney of murder some years ago. In flashbacks we see a young Barney and friends in Rome, where an early affair ends in tragedy. In Canada, he courts and marries his second wife - and at the reception, he meets another woman he decides is the one. He seeks advice from his dad, an ex-cop. Can Barney win back his ex-wife, and what about the murder?

  • In Montreal, the bitter and unpleasant television producer Barney Panofsky recalls his marriages. In 1974, in Rome, his unbalanced girlfriend Clara 'Chambers' Charnofsky gets pregnant and Barney marries her. On the delivery, he learns that the stillborn baby is not his and he leaves Clara that commits suicide later. Then his uncle invites Barney to move to Montreal to work as television producer. In 1975, Barney gets married with his second wife, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish couple. During the wedding party, Barney is infatuated by the guest Miriam Grant (Rosamund Pike). Miriam does not believe in love at the first sight and rejects the flowers and gifts that Barney sends to her in New York. One day, Barney surprises his best friend Boogie shagging his wife and they divorce. He travels to New York to meet Miriam; they return to Montreal, get married and have two children. After many years living happily together, Miriam meets the radio producer Blair in their house by the lake and Barney, who drinks a lot and smokes cigars, feels jealous. Blair offers an opportunity to Miriam in New York and Barney gets drunken and has one night stand with a former actress, destroying their marriage. Later Barney shows signs of dementia, loosing his memory. But he never forgets his beloved Miriam.

  • The adult life of Barney Panofsky, the Montréal-based producer of the long running soap opera "O'Malley of the North", is presented over the course of what end up being three failed marriages starting from 1975 to present day. Barney being able to attract three wives is despite many people in his life considering him, in polite terms, being a bit of a schmuck. The first marriage, which takes place when he is living in Rome, ends up being one partly out of circumstance, that circumstance which was not completely accurate to what he knew. The second marriage is to a stereotypical Jewish princess, who liked to tell the world more than anything about obtaining a Masters degree from McGill. Beyond their basic incompatibility, this second marriage is doomed to failure in part because of her extremely wealthy father looking down on Barney and Barney's own father, retired police detective Izzy Panofsky, and in part because of Barney's own fixation on two other items at their wedding besides her. The third marriage is to who Barney would arguably consider the love of his life and the woman for who he would do anything. But his own insecurities may be the largest cause of the break-up of that marriage. The individual effect of Barney's three closest buddies - Boogie, Leo and Cedric - on his marriages is also shown.

  • Spanning more than three decades, Barney's Version is the eponymous, acidic, and self-centred Canadian television producer Barney Panofsky's first-person confessional of a less-than-ordinary life. From cold Montreal to bustling New York City--and after two disastrous marriages until he found the love of his life in the person of his third wife, Miriam--this is Barney's point of view of an itinerary peppered with passion, love, hate, flaws, and even, murder. In retrospect, is Barney's life different from his spectacularly terrible soap opera?


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