Aroview: Postmodern comedy adapted from Laurence Stern's 18th century pre-post-modern novel, has dir. Winterbottom depict a few bare events in the lives of the eccentric 'Shandy' clan before crumbling his own imaginary problems to get the film on screen - through stand-in Jeremy Northam - into the ironic concoction.
All the expected filming difficulties become comic fodder, along with perenial notions about the nature of acting, especially with the narcissistic Steve Coogan leading the troupe. Fleet-footed enough to avoid the many possible conceptual potholes, dir. Winterbottom uses much entertaining smoke and mirrors to replicate Sterne's infamous trick devices (such as a completely black page) to convey the narrative sabotage of the source. In the end though it is Coogan's natural talent for uncomfortable irony which underscores the film's melancholic conclusions about human nature.
2 stars (Good Try) The screenplay is more about Coogan and Brydon interplaying rather than a work of literature so it doesn't rise to any great heights - it could have done because there was plenty of acting talent hanging around.~tubbs