Entertainment » Movies

The Trip To Italy

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jan 7, 2015
The Trip To Italy

"The Trip to Italy" expands the cultural-comedic palate by setting two British actor-comedians, with aspirations for Hollywood, against the idyllic backdrop of some of Italy's most amazing attractions.

Michael Winterbottom once again pushes our ideas of fiction and documentary, as he did in the 2005 "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story," by casting Steve Coogan ("Philomena," "Alan Patridge") and Rob Brydon ("Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," "Little Brittan") as -- somewhat fictionalized -- versions of themselves. The bantering pair go on a culinary road trip (supposedly so that they can write about it for Sunday newspaper) whilst they retrace the steps of the Romantic poets' grand tour of Italy -- eating fine food, drinking good wine, impersonating a slew of celebrities and improvising most of their dialogue.

This meta-fictional exploration of experience is hardly original, but it certainly seem to becoming popular ("This is the End," HBO's "The Comeback"), and few artist have proven themselves as good at it as this talented trio. Because whether it's reality or fiction Winterbottom's camera probes past the ego and self-defenses in his protagonists to uncover a place more bittersweet and biting than Hollywood usually takes us.

Winterbottom's camera probes past the ego and self-defenses in his protagonists to uncover a place more bittersweet and biting than Hollywood usually takes us.

This excursion started out in 2010 as "The Trip," a television series on BBC Two come feature film (or vice a versa). At that time Steve and Rob took a restaurant tour around northern England. "The Trip to Italy" is also part of the television series, but here you can watch it as one complete story. And if you miss it in this stunning Blu-ray edition, you're not likely to get the same breathtaking views of the Italian countryside.

In addition the vibrant picture, this edition contains a number of deleted scenes, which means more razor sharp wit and spot-on impersonations. Unusually, what ended up on the cutting room floor is every bit as entertaining as what made it into the picture.


"The Trip to Italy"
Blu-ray
Not Rated / 108 min.
www.IFCFilms.com

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