time forming an opinion

Film When I was standing in the toilet just before A Cock and Bull Story I wondered if film reviewers are able to just sit down and watch a film or whether they spend some of the time forming an opinion and deciding what they're going to say or write. If their job, which must be a dream job, actually spoils their enjoyment of film. One of the reasons I haven't been posting as many reviews on the blog of late is because of just that very issue - I can feel myself wondering how I'm going to phrase what has become the traditional three paragraphs of opinion.

This film in particular is particularly vexing because its structure is that of a fictional account of the making of a film with actors playing themselves. I would not have known the book that it's based on, Tristram Shandy unless someone hurled it at my head as I left Blackwells so I couldn't write some kind of analysis of the work as an adaptation. So I thought about doing something postmodern and writing a review of writing a review of the film. It's something I've tried fairly successfully in the past with works which cover similar ground. I reviewed Rendezvous the film-within-a-film in Soderbergh's Full Frontal and wrote myself into the review of Adaptation in much the same way as Charlie Kaufmann did himself in that movie. Should I post a link to a bizarrely negative review instead? And then in deciding not to, have to provide a link to it anyway so that the reader knows what I'm talking about?

On reflection, I don't know that it isn't best just to say that I was pleasantly surprised. There hasn't been a Michael Winterbottom film that I haven't loved and this is no exception. For me the joy of the piece hinges on the small details rather than the larger than life performances of some of the cast. It's seeing the reaction of the costumer designer when faced with the cheap digs of the stars of the film and her small vistory at the end and the vast array of British talent making utterly believable their tiny parts. If there is a regret, it's that two films couldn't be produced, one of which is the actual Tristram Shandy film. It would have been intriguing to see what that would have looked like.

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