One of the most hilarious and enjoyable films I’ve seen at the Festival this year was Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip. From the same director that did the cult 24-hour Party People, this year’s entry is very interesting as it is not confined to the usual parameters.
Somewhere between a theatrical production, a documentary, and a scripted movie, almost entirely improvised, but brilliantly at it, it follows actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon – who are called Steve and Rob in the movie as well, and are actors in the movie as well – through the north English countryside on a restaurant review expedition.
Both brilliant comedians, the two friends try to upstage one another throughout the entire movie in impersonating famous Hollywood actors, including Sean Connery, Woody Allen, Michael Cane, Dustin Hoffman, etc – and doing a mighty good job at it.
They also incorporate hysterically funny scenes about movie scores and soundtracks. Not to mention the delicious food in upscale trendy restaurants along the way, as well as some adventures with the locals.
Following the screening there was a Q&A with the director and the two leads, and it felt as just a continuation of the movie as they seamlessly carried on joking and throwing random impersonations into their talk. Immensely enjoyable, bravo to the trio.
Edit: great news, IFC picked it up for distribution! Here is a clip on BBC from one of the scenes.