Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

R   |    |  Comedy

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005) Poster

Director Michael Winterbottom (Northam) attempts to shoot the adaptation of Laurence Sterne's essentially unfilmable novel, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman."




  • Gillian Anderson in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
  • Rob Brydon at an event for Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
  • Michael Winterbottom at an event for Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
  • Gillian Anderson and Rob Brydon in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
  • Steve Coogan at an event for Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
  • Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan at an event for Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

25 October 2006 | tedg
Just Bull
Oh gosh, what a disappointment. Its something like that Peter Fonda "Tempest" set in the Bayou. It has the same fabric as the play's outer dressing and none of the muscle and blood of the thing.

Alas. One of our most intelligent filmmakers, someone who thinks about film and actually has new, clever ideas. Pay attention to "9 Songs" — if you can — and you'll be blown away. And one of our richest books. We don't have many in English, now that Ireland is a theme park for tourists. This book is not only folded in marvelous, manifold ways (many would say self- referential, but that's unduly limiting), it is a milestone in literature absolutely.

The problem with the film is aptly noted in the film. At some point, they decided that every effect, every narrative overlay, would be done for comic effect and no other. So. You'll find this amusing, slightly, with only one style of humor served up a couple different ways.

You will find better humor that plays with these notions elsewhere. At least, in true folded form, they tell us why in the film. Its because the guys in charge only understand "funny." There are some wonderful metabits where "deep" cinematic effect is brought up in discussions and the "guys in charge" are completely oblivious. It isn't like that opening scene in "The Player" where cinematic pretense is made fun of, and then ruthlessly exploited. No. Here the film really does ignore everything it was intended to be.

I'll have to wait, I suppose, for a Winterbottom project that has a less clever source, so he can add his own notions, rather than be faced with a warehouse of attitudes and only grab those on the bottom shelf.

Every scene with Naomie Harris is worth watching, in content and style. The rest, well, watch "The Company" instead if you just want to laugh, of "Singing Detective" if you want Shandy in film.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

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Box Office


GBP2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,886 29 January 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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