We’ve seen a lot of film partnerships over the years: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are one example, another is the duo of Steve Coogan and Michael Winterbottom. Their latest collaboration, The Look of Love was released on Blu-Ray disk and DVD on 19th August, so we decided to take a look back at the films which have united Coogan and Winterbottom in the past.
Steve Coogan, forever tied to his legendary comic creation Alan Partridge, has appeared in a varied selection of film roles in recent years, acting in biopics, voicing animated characters and of course recently starring as the aforementioned Partridge in the long awaited Alpha Papa. It has perhaps been with director Michael Winterbottom that Coogan has produced his most polished works. The Lancastrian pair’s first feature was a Mancunian based story, and they’ve since gone on to produce four films together with a fifth coming soon.
Let’s take a look at them below.
The Look of Love (2013) Porn magnate Paul Raymond (Coogan) was Britain’s richest man in the early ‘90s. Joined by a fantastic cast, the film follows his unconventional and obsessive relationship with his daughter, Debbie. Despite his wealth, Raymond is a deeply unhappy man, and in many ways one of contradiction. A private man at the centre of tabloid attention, a caring father who is ruthlessly aggressive in business and a wildly rich tycoon depressed with his life. The partnership has again produced a comedy unafraid of real emotion.
24 Hour Party People (2002) Using music mogul Tony Wilson as a focal point, their first feature drew on events, urban legend and an injection of imagination to retell a defining period for music from the punk rock era through to the 1980s “Madchester” scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Coogan, in the main role, is joined by Paddy Considine, Andy Serkis and Shirley Henderson in a fume of drugs, punk, anarchism and drugs. Anti-establishment icons appear in period footage, which along with Wilson repeatedly broke the fourth wall giving the film a docu-drama feel.
A Cock and Bull Story (2005) As Roger Ebert put it “A film about the making of a film based on a novel about the writing of a novel”, Coogan and comedy partner Rob Brydon play themselves playing actors playing characters from the eighteenth century text Tristram Shandy. With an appearance from Stephen Fry as Stephen Fry as a literary theorist, the movie is packed with understated competitive British humour that inspires chuckles throughout.
The Trip (2010) The partly improvised six episode BBC series, The Trip follows Coogan and Brydon as fictionalised versions of themselves on a restaurant tour in the north of England. Using that to drive the plot, the pair are much more interested in squabbling in cars, hotels and everywhere in between. An amusing docu-drama, the real stars of this film are in fact Michael Caine, Sean Connery and numerous others, despite not having any involvement in the filming. A second series is currently in production with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan reprising their roles.