A Cock And Bull Story. Image shows from L to R: Rob Brydon - Toby Shandy (Rob Brydon), Steve Coogan - Tristram Shandy & Walter Shandy (Steve Coogan). Image credit: Revolution Films.

A Cock And Bull Story

Film starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as themselves, filming a movie adaptation of the novel The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

AKA:
Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story
Genre:
Film
Released:
2006
Starring:
Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Keeley Hawes, Shirley Henderson, Dylan Moran, David Walliams, Jeremy Northam, Benedict Wong, Naomie Harris, Kelly Macdonald, Elizabeth Berrington
Writers:
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Laurence Sterne
Production:
Revolution Films
& BBC Films

One of English literature's most anarchic classics - The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman - adapted by one of cinema's most daring film-makers, A Cock And Bull Story is a comedy from acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom.

Bringing together the cream of British comedy talent, this is a film which perfectly captures the spirit of the novel - a celebration of the wonderful, unfathomable chaos of life itself.

A Cock And Bull Story is an energetic adaptation of a book which is unadaptable, and this is wrapped round by an affectionate and equally hilarious account of what it's like trying to make a film - especially when the two lead actors are constantly vying with each other for attention.

Our Review: Possibly one of the strangest films mainstream British cinema has produced; A Cock And Bull Story mixes (fake) behind-the-scenes footage of the filming of a movie adaptation of the celebrated 18th Century novel, The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne (dubbed 'unfilmable' by many), with actual scenes from said novel: portions of a film within a film.

The mockumentary elements in fact make up the main body of A Cock And Bull Story, with the film-in-film adaptation scenes limited to portraying a number of key elements from the comic novel, including his own conception, birth, and accidental circumcision aged three.

The behind-the-scenes scenes, meanwhile, focus largely on Steve Coogan's apparent ego, and a minor rivalry with fellow actor Rob Brydon. This vein is explored further in the 2010 BBC Two sitcom The Trip, from the same director and largely improvised by the same two stars.