Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story (2005)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though Laurence Sterne's novel was considered more or less impossible to successfully adapt to film, director Michael Winterbottom has done it in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, by making movie about the making of the movie. Stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon add madcap, knowing performances to the mix, and the result is a fun, postmodern romp, before there was any modern romp to post.

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Movie Info

Flipping back and forth between the 18th century and the hapless efforts of the 21st century filmakers, 'Tristram Shandy' is the making of a movie adapted from the notoriously unfilmable English literature masterpiece, 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Sahndy, Gentlemen,' written by Laurence Sterne. The story begins with Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan) narrating his life story as he sees it. Crammed with literary jokes and dark humor, Shandy's warped childhood tales are constantly interrupted by his family and household, inadvertently revealing far more about himself than any conventional autobiography. At the dramatic moment of Tristram's birth, the first assistant director calls cut, marking the end of a filming day on the. We then see Steve Coogan, the other actors and crew through the course of a chaotic evening on set. Steve Coogan's wife arrives with their six-month-old baby, a journalist is chasing him about a scandalous story, his agent has arrived with a load of Hollywood scripts and the film financiers are threatening to pull the plug.

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Cast

Steve Coogan
as Tristram Shandy/Walter Shandy/Steve Coogan
Rob Brydon
as Toby Shandy/Rob Brydon
Keeley Hawes
as Elizabeth Shandy/Keeley Hawes
Shirley Henderson
as Susannah/Shirley Henderson
Dylan Moran
as Dr. Slop/Dylan Moran
Stephen Fry
as St. Patrick Curator/Parson Yorick
Gillian Anderson
as Widow Wadman/Gillian Anderson
Conal Murphy
as Tristam Shandy (age 6)
Joe Williams
as Tristam Shandy (age 9)
Paul Kynman
as Obadiah
Mark Tandy
as London Doctor
Mary Healey
as Midwife
Claire Keelan
as Make-up Assistant
Mark Williams
as Ingoldsby
Anthony H. Wilson
as TV Interviewer
Justine Mitchell
as Tony's Director
Paul Rider
as Prop Guy
Stephen Rodrick
as New York Times Reporter
Stuart Wilson
as Sound Mixer
James Randle
as Hotel Reception Manager
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News & Interviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

Critic Reviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (39)

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story is a hall of mirrors that doesn't tease the brain (it's easier to watch than to read about) so much as goose it into submission.

May 12, 2006 | Full Review…
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

[Michael Winterbottom's] goofy, messy version of Tristram Shandy puts the Fellini back in 'Fellini-esque.'

March 10, 2006 | Rating: 4/5
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A wildly imaginative foray into spirited comic anarchy.

March 10, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Miami Herald
Top Critic

A Cock and Bull Story is a grand giggle of a film, well worth your time and money and a game well played for the audience.

March 10, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

A hilariously clever picture about the making of a movie that no one will have the slightest interest in. For an experiment about an experiment, it's entirely too much fun.

March 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Probably the best-known but-I-digress novel in English literature, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, has inspired Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, surely the best but-I-digress movie this side of Adaptation.

March 2, 2006 | Rating: B+
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

½

Having seen and fell in love with The Trip first, it was fun to spend more time with characters that I had come to know and love. On top of being a smart and layered film, Coogan and Brydon continue to give the audience their patented witty passive-aggressive banter. While I did not find myself sick with laughter in the same ways as i was with The Trip, it is still very funny. If you love the characters in all of their humor and misery, then this film is for you.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

½

When did British comedy become boring? My guess. Sometime around this film's release. There's an average human drama subplot, but the rest is pretty stuck up [their own a***] comedy.

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

½

your mileage may vary according to your taste in 18th century literature, british comedy and/or the post-modern film stylings of michael winterbottom/steve coogan. i enjoyed it very much, tho it's messy and not everything works. one clever bit, amongst many clever bits, was the score's subtly referencing everything from barry lyndon to 8 1/2, perhaps an allusion to the many charges of plagiarism against the novel

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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