Watching A Cock and Bull Story

by Mark on 01/22/2006

We had a great Christmas present from our daughters child minder – free babysitting once a month for the year (great idea!), so as time was running out for January we hastily organised a trip to the cinema. Not alot on, so as todays Guardian recommended¬†‘A Cock and Bull story’¬†I thought we’d try that.

I didn’t know what to expect having never heard of the book it’s based on, ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ by Laurence Sterne, an 18th century novel in which Tristma Shandy tries to tell his life story but never even gets around to describing his own birth, apparently quite unfilmable.

The director Michael Winterbottom has chosen to make a film about the making of a ‘Tristram Shandy’ movie. This gets a little confusing as there are actors playing themselves as well as characters in the story, but as the actors playing the behind the scenes parts are well known, like James Fleet playing the producer it didn’t really work for me – as Coogan was playing himself, so should everyone else be.

The best scenes are the off scene rivary between Coogan and Brydon, which starts off the film, and continues through out – Brydons great impression of Coogan actually being like Alan Partridge, a competitive argument about Al Pacino impressions or the sulky demands over the height of Coogan’s shoes. Coogan sends himself up very well, but I think it’s Brydon who’s the funniest.

The film is littered with some the UK’s great comedians – Stephen Fry, Mark Williams, Dylan Moran and David Walliams make brief appearances.

To sum it up it’s funny and clever, but not really a film, it’s more like a programme you’d see on TV.

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