Steve Coogan

The Trip to Italy

“We aren’t going to do any impersonations, are we? Because we talked about that.” Prolific filmmaker Michael Winterbottom returns to the wonderful and witty world of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon eating a lot of tasty-looking food and trying to one-up each other with uncanny celebrity impersonations in The Trip to Italy, a satisfying follow-up to 2010’s The Trip. Again retained by The Observer to put together a round of lightly fictionalized restaurant reviews with some trademark color commentary (this time in Italy), the film opens with Brydon inviting Coogan along for another adventure in eating, drinking, and just giving each other a lot of shit. Fortunately, Coogan accepts the offer (and all the five-star accommodations that go along with it). Though it may sound just a bit cliché and a tad trite, it also just so happens to be true: if you loved The Trip, you’ll love The Trip to Italy. Winterbottom and the lads have essentially changed locations, mixed around a bit of drama, and served up a film very much like their first one. Luckily, The Trip and The Trip to Italy are not films that rely on large-scale plot movements and big character revelations, and the things that worked well the first time work almost as well the second. The food looks better, too.

read more...

Alan Patridge

Editor’s note: Kate’s review of Alan Partridge originally ran during last year’s NYFF, but we’re re-running it as the film opens today in limited release. For the small subset of cinephiles who have long hungered for a major motion picture that places Steve Coogan’s moronic broadcasting character Alan Partridge into a situation resembling the Brendan Fraser-starring 1994 comedy Airheads, Alan Partridge is so perfectly tailor-made for their desires that it’s actually somewhat frightening. (It also doesn’t seem like an actual possibility, but clearly someone thought this was a good idea, or else the film wouldn’t even have been made.) Coogan has played Partridge for over twenty years now, with the character first appearing on the radio program On the Hour in 1991, and then serving as the centerpiece of his news broadcasting spoof show, The Day Today, which aired on the BBC for one brief seven-episode season back in 1994. Since then, Partridge’s dim bulb reportage has taken him from radio to television and back again, with Coogan’s portrayal of the criminally boring and weirdly entertaining disc jockey and television presenter continuing to be one of his most enduring and reliable comedic creations. Of course it’s about time he got taken hostage.

read more...

film-philomena-e1385664855549

I was disappointed this week when Philomena was not named among the WGA Award nominees. It turns out that it wasn’t eligible (Steve Coogan and/or Jeff Pope must not be in the Writers Guild of America), nor were a number of other noteworthy films (including 12 Years a Slave and Short Term 12), which hopefully followers of the Oscar race are both aware of and share if they’re also entertainment writers. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think Philomena is falling behind. After all, it might just be the most original adapted screenplay of the year, and if originality were the primary quality for that category then Philomena would deserve to take home the Academy Award on March 2nd. How exactly adapted works are judged has never been clear, and it doesn’t help when the nominees may include sequels with purely original stories and dialogue, such as this year’s strong contender Before Midnight, as well as any films based on books, TV shows, plays and other films, including shorts by the same filmmakers that were basically like practice runs for the features. When it comes to those based on books, do the voters merit faithfulness or interpretation or clever strays from the source material? It probably isn’t the last, because otherwise past nominees like Adaptation, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and There Will Be Blood would have won for their looseness as adaptations to the point that they almost ought to have been in the original […]

read more...

Philomena

Editor’s note: Our review of Philomena originally ran during this year’s TIFF, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release today. In a strictly paint-by-numbers world, Stephen Frears’ Philomena is one hell of a prestige picture bound for awards season glory – who could possibly balk at a Judi Dench-starring true-life tale of a woman’s decades-long quest to find the baby who was taken from her by the evil Irish Magdalene laundries? – but the final execution of the film is so contrived and unoriginal that it all but begs for an immediate remake that possesses even a drop more sensitivity. Even with the essential inclusion of Steve Coogan (who also helped script the film) as a smirking journalist on the outs with the entire world, Philomena never fully embraces either its humor or its drama. Uneven and weirdly insensitive, Philomena is unable to combine its many elements into something rich, despite prime subject matter. The film centers on the heartbreaking real life story of Philomena Lee (Dench), an Irishwoman who was forced to give up her first child while toiling in a Magdalene laundry, a church-run home for “fallen women” who got pregnant out of wedlock. (The laundries were indeed real and, shockingly enough, the last Irish one closed only in 1996.) Frears effectively uses flashbacks to mince together the “present day” story of a still-haunted Philomena and the “past” portion that focuses on a stellar Sophia Kennedy Clark as a young Philomena just […]

read more...

Philomena

What does it mean for a movie to be “based on a true story”? In the case of Philomena, it means borrowing real events and people and reworking them to fit a thematic narrative. Often that infusion of fiction and dramatization brings about a greater truth, and in this new release that greater truth being communicated is that there is still room for sincerity and love in this cynical, post-modern world. Adapted from Martin Sixsmith‘s nonfiction book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee — or really just adapted from the epilogue — Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s award-winning script takes great artistic license with its source material, and that’s okay. The movie, directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), is an intelligent, funny, well-acted and honest, if not always factually accurate, account of a journalist (Coogan, as Sixsmith) and an older woman (Dame Judi Dench) investigating what became of the son that was taken from her 50 years earlier by Catholic nuns. READ MORE

read more...

Philomena

It takes a bold, thoughtless person to mess with Dame Judi Dench. Dench stars in the first trailer for Stephen Frears’ Philomena as the titular Philomena Lee, a woman who was sent away to a convent as a young girl and forced to give up her son. Nearly fifty years later, she enlists the help of a former journalist to help track him down in America. Steve Coogan steps in to play the journalist, Martin Sixsmith, who is using the opportunity to write a human-interest story about Philomena and her reunion with her son. Though we know Coogan as a gifted comedian, he’s proved several times that he can hold his own in dramatic turns (The Look of Love, Our Idiot Brother); and from the trailer, the unlikely friendship blossoming between Philomena and his character looks to be one of the strongest parts of the film. Coogan also co-wrote the screenplay, which is based on the book written by the real-life Sixsmith. The trailer devotes equal time to Philomena and Martin’s stories, which makes sense when you know that the film is based on an account that Sixsmith wrote, but the real meat of the story is in what happened to Philomena and her son, and not the journalist who’s telling her tale. Any good reporter should know that. Check out the trailer after the break.

read more...

Steve Coogan in The Look of Love

The Look of Love marks Steve Coogan’s fourth collaboration with Michael Winterbottom and it’s an ideal companion piece to their 24 Hour Party People (2002), offering another decades-spanning look at a seminal, if lesser-known, British cultural figure. It’s a complex character study that offers some of Coogan’s most interesting work and another testament to Winterbottom’s knack for period naturalism. Here, Coogan plays Paul Raymond, who was dubbed the King of Soho for his property purchases, proprietorship of the U.K.’s first strip joint and publication of erotica magazines including Men Only and Escort. The film traces Raymond’s three decades or so as his nation’s Hugh Hefner, wheeling, dealing to amass his empire.

read more...

Alpha Papa Trailer

If you don’t know of Steve Coogan from anywhere else, chances are you’ll at least know him as one of the stars of Michael Winterbottom’s BBC miniseries-turned-U.S. film release, The Trip. The scene from that one where he and Rob Brydon battle with dueling impressions of Michael Caine kind of went viral. Coogan has been a big name in the UK for quite a while, though, and largely because of his portrayal of Alan Partridge, a faux media personality who Coogan has portrayed in several different BBC series. Think of Partridge as being sort of like Garry Shandling performing as Larry Sanders but with quite a bit of the smugness of Ricky Gervais thrown in. He is British, after all. Well, it turns out the Partridge character has become so long-lived and beloved that the inevitable has happened: they’ve made an Alan Partridge movie. As a matter of fact, they’ve made an Alan Partridge movie called Alan Partridge is in Alpha Papa. How did they come up with such a ridiculous title? You’re in luck! The film’s new teaser trailer is about that very thing.

read more...

What Maisie Knew

It may only be Monday, but our feel-bad trailer of the week has already arrived (and with a bullet). In Scott McGehee and David Siegel‘s What Maisie Knew, an already-messy divorce takes on an extra cast of awful, thanks to some apparently shifting romantic entanglements. Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan star as hip New Yorkers in the middle of a particularly ugly divorce and custody battle that threatens the well-being of their only daughter, an eerily adult Onata Aprile (as Maisie). Things get still worse when Coogan takes up with the nanny, Moore takes up with Alexander Skarsgard, and — oops! — said nanny and said Skarsgard just might take up with each other. See? Messy. If you’re not interested in being in a good mood, check out the first trailer for What Maisie Knew after the break.

read more...

The Look of Love

Michael Winterbottom has made a lot of goddamn movies. Unlike most directors, though, he doesn’t really have a type of film that he sticks to or is known for. This lack of a label allows him to move effortlessly from comedy to drama, political to pornographic artistic, period to contemporary, and once and a while he’ll even dip his toes into the biographical. It’s that last category that his latest film, The Look of Love, resides… alongside strong elements of the dramatic, comedic, period and artistic, of course. Steve Coogan plays real-life multi-millionaire Paul Raymond, a man whose immense fortune came on the backs of nude women dancing in his clubs, posing in his magazines and playing in his bed. Starting in the near present with the death of his daughter, the film flashes back to his early days as proprietor of a classy gentleman’s club and traces his rise in wealth and fame alongside his descent into sleaze and immorality.

read more...

They were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off, but if you’ve seen The Trip, then you know how hilarious Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon can be simply hanging out together. Fortunately, we’ve got our hands on an exclusive deleted scene from the movie that’s short, sweet, and educational. If you’ve ever wondered the right way to enjoy a fine glass of wine, Coogan and Brydon are just the teachers for you. Even though they don’t look nearly drunk enough:

read more...

Our Idiot Brother floats by on the genial charms of Paul Rudd, an apparently nice guy in real life who’s playing just about the nicest, most pleasant guy in the world. That sounds like a recipe for ho-hum disaster, but Rudd happens to be ridiculously adept at selling you two bags of goods at once, imbuing that geniality with a fount of deep tangible feeling. Audiences accustomed to Judd Apatow-era Rudd might forget that he’s acted in Neil LaBute plays and films (before LaBute turned into a director-for-hire) and once played F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Nick Carraway in a Great Gatsby adaptation made for TV. The guy has dramatic chops, and he’s one of the few actors in Hollywood who can naturalistically flow them into a deceptively low-key framework. Here, Rudd stars as Ned — or Nedley, as mom calls him — a lovable, trusting hippie farmer who sells a cop some weed and winds up in jail. After his release, with nowhere to go, Ned moves in first with mom and then with his three high-strung sisters in succession.

read more...

The Trip was a Michael Winterbottom-directed independent comedy that recently opened in the US to pretty decent critical buzz. It featured comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as less than happy bedfellows traveling the countryside of northern England and eating at fancy restaurants. The story was that they were writing reviews for a magazine, but really the plot was just an excuse to get Coogan and Brydon together to riff on comedy bits, duel with Michael Caine impressions, and get on each other’s nerves. The results were rather humorous, and it’s looking like there is going to be a sequel. Or, at least, there will be a sequel to the BBC series. You see, The Trip actually started as a six part series on BBC2. In a kind of strange move, the six episodes were edited down to one feature length release for US theaters. In a Q&A at this week’s Latitude Festival, producer Andrew Eaton revealed that Winterbottom was going to send Coogan and Brydon on another trip, this time to Italy. This guarantees that the original fans of the series in the UK will be getting more odd couple action from the duo, and points to the fact that we might be getting another movie here in the US as well. If the content is there, and all you have to do is pay someone to make an alternate edit, why not give it another go in the US? Or maybe they’ll strike a deal to get the […]

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the movie blogosphere’s diversity action plan. Because too many movie blogs just regurgitate press releases, post POV videos of street luge or bring you the same 25 stories that everyone else already has. We take those 25 stories, smash them together, wipe away the blood and mix ‘em with the best links we can find in a nightly tradition known to its friends as Movie News After Dark… For those Hobbit fans who aren’t completely sold on Peter Jackson doing the thing in 3D, see the above picture. If Gandalf approves, how can the world disagree?

read more...

kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grades four new films: Get Him to the Greek, Splice, Marmaduke and Killers.

read more...

The Other Guys

Without knowing anything else about The Other Guys other than seeing this trailer, you might very well think that it’s going to be just another dumb comedy. But there’s a reason why you should be optimistic about it…

read more...

natm-amyadams-header

A few weeks back, I reviewed Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as part of This Week in Blu-ray. Since then, I’ve taken a second look at the film and found quite a few references to pop culture and other films. Could this movie be smarter than I initially thought possible? Perhaps…

read more...

spirit-liveheader

We have been lazy this week, leading to a lack of a Saturday ‘Shouting Match.’ And we need to cover these Independent Spirit Awards at some point. So screw it, we’ll do them together, live.

read more...

Steve Coogan Hosts the Independent Spirit Awards Saturday

The brilliant British actor took some time out from his hosting prep to talk to us about the world of indie film, his role at the Independent Spirit Awards, and a few details about his recurring role as a 3-inch tall figurine.

read more...

Samarkand

An adaptation of Craig Murray’s “Murder in Samarkand” with Michael Winterbottom at the helm and Steve Coogan in the starring role is sadly stalled indefinitely.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3