OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

The Trip To Greece

The final course.

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The fourth and purportedly final offering in Michael Winterbotom’s culinary/travel series is The Trip to Greece, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon retrace the path taken by the ancient hero Odysseus from Troy to Ithaca.

Greece serves not only as an idyllic backdrop but as a constant thematic prompt with Coogan and Brydon blending Hellenic-inspired shtick with musings on women, family and aging.

The two friends do regularly pull back from the banter and the clowning to appreciate the surroundings. And those surroundings are something. For pure eye candy, you cannot go wrong with the islands and surrounding coastline of the Aegean.

In our current pandemic times, Greece resonates on a couple of levels — one vicarious and one eminently relatable. First, Steve and Rob can do what we mostly can’t, namely visit beautiful places, stay in luxury hotels and dine on fine food with amusing companions. Second, their interactions with their families at home, limited as they are to phone calls and video chats, are unexpectedly moving.

What began as a fairly lighthearted series of vignettes has developed gravitas in the end. The final movie builds toward a serious turn that puts the entire series’ meta qualities and more philosophical themes in stark relief.

– Kevin Crust, The Los Angeles Times

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