Steve Coogan

REVIEW: Phenomenal ‘Philomena’ Serves It Up to Those “Fucking Catholics”

I know: there are a dozen less-shocking lines from Stephen Frears’ Philomena that I could have used in the title of this piece, if I couldn’t have thought of something original myself. As it is, “phenomenal Philomena” is destined to become a trite alliteration in reference to this superlative film, which of all the Oscar candidates that I’ve seen — I am seeing them in order of release — is now the one to beat. But if you don’t agree with Steve Coogan’s exasperated exclamation about Catholicism in reference to its abuse of, well, just about everyone in the history of its existence, then you’re likely a member of the Catholic clergy, or as terrorized by this most dangerous and egregious of Christian sects as Philomena herself.

Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith, a Roman Catholic-turned-atheist journalist and Russia specialist who has lost his job as Director of Communications in the UK Department of Transport following a scandal,

What A Trip


by James Killough

I’ve always liked Michael Winterbottom’s name because it makes my inner snickering pubescent, who hovers just slightly under the surface of my persona, think about having sex with a young buck under a Christmas tree.  The young buck is wearing a Santa hat and nothing more.  Okay, maybe work boots.

Steve Coogan (seen here in "24 Hour Party People") is becoming the Marcello Mastroianni to Winterbottom's Fellini.

Winterbottom is a British director who works with admirable speed, intelligence and ferocity in terms of the issues he tackles.  I’ve never met him, but judging by his work he’s a real mensch; he was one of the first to turn a camera on the nasty injustices of Guantanamo.  The only thing I know about him is that he owes a large part of his success and his ability to get his films made, despite a lack of box office success, thanks to his long-term partnership with his producer, Andrew Eaton.