The Ghost of CBC Present

This is a lot funnier if you imagine it's the prequel to 'American Splendor'It’s Christmas Eve, and just one new release is stirring: Richard J. Lewis’ “Barney’s Version“, which plays like the feature-length cut of a CBC miniseries adaptation of the Mordecai Richler novel.

You know what I mean, right? Lots of plot, but very little character development, and it sports the sort of randomly assembled international cast that screams “Canadian co-production” at the top of its lungs. Paul Giamatti looks like he’s doing something interesting, and Rosamund Pike and Dustin Hoffman are quite good, but whatever Minnie Driver is doing as a grasping Jewish princess, she must never do it again.

Anyway, that’s my Christmas gift to you — a warning to wait for the DVD. Go see “True Grit” instead, would you? It’s really good. And, um, Jeff Bridges is starting to look a little like Santa, except for the jolly part.