January 25, 2006

Shandy Ain't Shite

Having seen a screening of Michael Winterbottom's "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" last night, I can definitely give it my recommendation. Best described as a cross between a traditional period film and BBC's "The Office," this cleverly devised film jumps back-and-forth between Laurence Sterne's 18th century comic novel and the story of the British actors who are trying (with much difficulty) to get the film adaptation of the novel made. Both of these elements are replete with laugh-out-loud moments, thanks in particular to Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who play themselves as rival actors vying for top-billing in the film-within-the-film. (The dialogue between these two in the first and last five minutes of the movie is worth the price of admission alone.) Gillian Anderson (see our Bleak House review, below) also has a small part in the film, playing herself, and Brit-flick fans will surely recognize many more castmembers, including Mr. Knightly himself, Jeremy Northam. If you like "This is Spinal Tap" as much as you love costume dramas, this is the movie for you. -- Amy

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