At the heart of Barney’s Version is a powerful performance from Paul Giamatti, as an ageing curmudgeon looking back over his past. He blunders his way through two marriages—to a tortured artist (Rachelle Lefevre) and a Jewish socialite (Minnie Driver)—and has no direction until he meets the beautiful Miriam (Rosmund Pike). Only his relationships with his father (Dustin Hoffman) and best friend (Scott Speedman) are constant, but even these are not straightforward.
Directed by Danish film-maker Lone Scherfig, An Education is a coming of age drama is set in early 1960s Twickenham. Adapted by Nick Hornby from Lynn Barber’s memoir, the story revolves around intelligent teenage schoolgirl Jenny (Carey Mulligan) who has her head turned by the much older David (Peter Sarsgaard). As her burgeoning romance with David sweeps her along in a whirlwind of expensive presents, foreign trips and increasingly adult pursuits, Jenny is forced to decide between continuing her education and following her feelings.