2011 Oscars Challenge: Barney’s Version

The Best Makeup Award is rather slim pickings this year. Last year, “Star Trek” blew the Academy away and took the award. This year, it is less easy to pick a winner. Do you pick “The Wolfman” because of the abundance of makeup? Or do you pick “Barney’s Version” for its subtlety and attention to detail? This could steer a lot of people wrong.


Paul Giamatti won a Golden Globe for his performance in the film, but with perhaps an Academy Award snub, we are left determining whether it deserves its Makeup nomination. Grey hairs, crows feet, and aging fat are the extent of the film’s makeup, creating several different decades with the same cast of characters. The film is not chronological for the most part and therefore the audience must endure attempting to keep the different decades sorted out by what the cast looks like.

The main changes occur in the main characters, especially Paul Giamatti’s and Dustin Hoffman’s characters. Other characters, it does not appear to be as imperative, especially Miriam and her children, as they never really change appearances much throughout the “years”.


My question is whether there is enough to award “Barney’s Version” with the award with such minimal makeup taking part in the actual film. Does the makeup help the film? For the most part. Would I have noticed it much without the nomination at hand? Probably not. That can work for or against the film, but ultimately, I think it will be quantity over quality when it comes right down to it and “The Wolfman” has plenty of quantity to take the award. “Barney’s Version” is by far the better overall film between the two, but it does not solidify it a win, as always.

(10 OF 41 FILMS REMAINING)-(3 DAYS TO OSCARS)


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