Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

Release Date: January 27, 2006
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Tuesday, August 16, 2005
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Don't even talk to me about Around the World in 80 Days.

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Position Staff In Brief
8/76 Dan Krovich There are so many movies about making movies, but this one is actually hilarious.
12/65 Kim Hollis If you don't like Steve Coogan, you probably won't like this film. But it's a great examination of what goes into the making of a movie.

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Until now, the Laurence Sterne novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman had been considered to be unfilmable. Now that he's tackled the evolution of a relationship by showing the sexual involvement of a couple in 9 Songs, director Michael Winterbottom seems at least willing to tackle any subject. His take on the classic will be a post-modern take on the complex story.

The movie will begin with Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan, who also starred in Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People) narrating his own life story. His tale is packed full of literary jokes and darkly humorous riffs. His twisted yarns about his childhood are actually interrupted by members of his household and family, which reveals more about our hero than his unreliable "truth" possibly could.

When the movie reaches the extremely dramatic moment of Tristram's birth, the first assistant director calls cut, and the audience is let in on the filming and the set of Tristram Shandy. From there, the scene shifts to show Coogan and his fellow actors as they go through a chaotic evening. In this manner, shifting back and forth from the actual 18th century story and the 21st century process of shooting it, Winterbottom proves that there is nothing that can't be put on film. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Main Cast Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Keeley Hawes
Supporting Cast Kelly Macdonald, Jeremy Northam, James Fleet, Ian Hart, Shirley Henderson, Stephen Fry, Gillian Anderson
Director Michael Winterbottom
Screenwriter Michael Winterbottom, Frank Cottrell Boyce
Distributor Picturehouse
Rating R
Running Time 91 minutes
Screen Count 3
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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