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Coogan and Brydon have a forking good time

★★★★

A spiritual sequel to A Cock And Bull Story in general and the scene where Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan try to out Al Pacino each other in particular, director Michael Winterbottom this time sends ‘Steve’ and ‘Rob’ round the north of England ostensibly to review fine-dining restaurants for The Observer but really to trade impressions and insults about their life/career status. A kind of Lake District My Dinner With André with added impersonations — Michael Caine (“She was only 16 years old”), Anthony Hopkins (“Mr. Chrisssstian”) and of course Pacino (“Whattyagot!”) — this is a largely improvised delight, skewering the ennui of celebrity, professional jealousies and the joys of bollocks conversations. There are recurring plot cores — Coogan frets about his career (cue Ben Stiller cameo now de rigueur for Brit comedy — next stop My Family) and his ex in LA; Brydon simply misses his wife and baby — but it’s the talk that sticks. As an added treat, the scenery is gorgeous, the food mouthwatering and the pared-back versions of Michael Nyman film themes the perfect seasoning to bring out the melancholy beneath the whole enterprise.

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