On The Road

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Published June 7, 2011

 

What to do if you’ve succeeded in filming an adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s famously unfilmable proto-postmodernist novel Tristram Shandy—or at least lensed the hilarious meta-comedy Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005), in which Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play loose versions of themselves as egotistical actors who fail to film an adaptation of the wildly digressive 18th-century text? If you’re director Michael Winterbottom, you send your larger-than-life characters on The Trip (IFC, June 10), a road film charting the British comedy duo’s largely improvisational tour of the finer foodie establishments of northern England. The two show greater interest in bickering about who is the best middling actor than they do in appreciating the sweeping scenery of the Lake District. Brit-lit nerds may see it all as Winterbottom’s oblique reference to Sterne’s own follow-up, A Sentimental Journey. “But at the end of the day,” says the director, “it’s really just about Steve and Rob.”

STAY TUNED TO INTERVIEWMAGAZINE.COM FOR AN EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM THAT WILL APPEAR TOMORROW.