Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

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He's about to play the role of his life.

Michael Winterbottom’s TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY is a rollicking, inventive adaptation of the classic 18th Century comic novel ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ by Laurence Sterne. A well-known though not necessarily widely read masterpiece, ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ is a bawdy romp that plays with the techniques and conventions of the novel; its autobiographical speaker is prone to narrative excursions, direct addresses to the reader, and other eccentricities that make his tale anything but linear.

Winterbottom (IN THIS WORLD, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE) multiplies Sterne’s conceit to tell two stories: that of an 18th Century Englishman, Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan); and that of the hapless 21st Century filmmakers who are adapting the notoriously unfilmable work. Slyly acknowledging public fascination with the movie industry, TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY strolls onto a modern film set, complete with insecure actors, scandal-hunting reporters, and balky investors. As it follows the fortunes of two families – one blood, one professional – the film makes us privy to calamities, crises, and flirtations that transcend centuries.

With TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY, Michael Winterbottom again affirms his protean talent as he delivers a zesty celebration of storytelling and the life that spills out of it.

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