Michael Winterbottom's new film Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story isn't actually a movie of Laurence Sterne's 1765-1769 novel. It's not even, as it pretends to be, a movie about making a movie of the novel. What TS:ACaBS really is, is a proposal for a movie — a rough draft that brings great energy and humor and creativity to the screen but which never quite makes them cohere. It's a laugh-out-loud romp with dozens of utterly successful scenes and dozens more that fall short. Given ten times the budget and a sharp-scissored editor, TS:ACaBS could have been a wonderful reimaging of an "unfilmable" novel. Maybe next time?

TopicEntertainment - TopicLiterature - 2006-02-22

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