Friday, 10 March 2006

A Cock and Bull Story (2005) - ickleReview (cinema)

Very clever and inventive postmodern film adaptation of Laurence Sterne's eighteenth-century novel, Tristram Shandy. Steve Coogan plays himself playing Tristram and his father, Walter. Rob Brydon plays himself playing Uncle Toby. Very self-reflexive - somehow capturing the madcap chaotic essense of the book. The best adaptation since Adaptation. (2002).

Coogan is brilliant as an egomaniac leading actor, making a big fuss over the height of the heels of his shoes - worried about his stature in comparison to Brydon, who does hilarious impressions of Coogan and Roger Moore.

There's no point relating the plot. Like the book, which is about writing an autobiography, the film is about making a film about the book. It achieves a kid of versimilitude, so at times you forget you're watching a film at all - more like a documentary - reminiscent of the margins of reality breached in Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996).

I look forward to the DVD release of this film, which promises extras like footnotes to the book. A stark contrast to director Michael Winterbottom's previous film, 9 Songs (2004). The lead from that (Kieran O'Brien) has a small part in this one as a tabloid journalist who blackmails Coogan into giving him a feature interview by threatening to reveal a hotal sex scandal, which Coogan claims not quite to remember.

Nugget: crammed full of British character actors with cameos by Gillian Anderson and Stephen Fry.

No comments:

Post a Comment