Thursday, June 23, 2011
I saw the food in film British Indie, The Trip (Philadelphia Film Society sneak preview) almost two weeks ago and haven't had a chance to do a write up. Today, when I went to begin doing some behind the scenes research on the film, this review caught my eye. It's a really good assement of the film and wonderfully, succintly written.
Review by Sanela Djokovic for Tribeca 2011
Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Al Pacino— that is a more than decent cast, but they only appear in The Trip, via concrete impressions from shining British comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan. A hundred minutes of great impressions might have been amply entertaining, but the ceaseless piercing repartee and lack of wild escapades puts a much-needed, brisk and smart spin on the road-trip comedy.
Brydon and Coogan play fictionalized versions of themselves in The Trip, and reunites them with director Michael Winterbottom (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story). In the film Coogan’s girlfriend is taking a break from him, leaving a whole in the plans they have already made to spend five days up north in the country side, taking in the lush or the land and visiting restaurants with extravagant menus. He invites his domesticated comedian buddy Brydon to join him and so begins a long series of chaffing exchanges and heated debates. However, beyond the banter exists some heavy character analysis. While, Brydon is comfortable with both his career and his domestic life, Coogan is feeling lost in both. His unattached lifestyle has lead him to forty-something and still not the boyfriend, the father or the actor he wants to be.
When the serious talk is cloaked in the comedic exchanges (bickering over their future eulogies or discussing whether they would allow their children to suffer from a short, fleeting sickness if it insured them an Oscar win) it is really a perfect, hilarious amalgamation. But, there are points during The Trip, where Coogan’s self-reflection feels overstated and gloomy, causing somewhat of a weird shift.
The Trip, was edited into a feature film from a six-part sitcom that aired in the UK last year. That may explain the shift— maybe its all in the editing. It may suffer at the hands of its pace and a tad bit of melodrama at times, but Coogan and Brydon are just too good together and create engaging comedy
Tinsel & Tine additions: Although there are many beautifully filmed scenes of 4 star chefs preparing some, succulent and some, unique looking dishes; including lollipops made out of duck fat, grassy looking salads prepared in miniture little edible bags, and a foamy, ginger beer and whiskey concoction, Brydon sums up un-apetizingly as tasting a bit like snot - The film and food aspects of the movie didn't gell together as a whole. Coogan & Brydon's scenes of banter across the table from each other are the best parts of the movie; but when they cut to the actual food preparation, it feels like a commercial interlude.
I've tried to find the name of the food stylist for The Trip and can't seem to come up with anything, so perhaps these scenes are just stock footage of culinary creations.
The film's food foolishness: A waiter describes the latest dish brought to the table as cooked in it's own juices- Brydon: If I were cooked in my own juices, I'm sure I couldn't manage a thimbleful. Scallops resting on a bed of rice - Brydon: resting is rather optimistic, they're dead.