Jay Allen Sanford 1 p.m., May 4
A relentless gallery of raillery aimed at introducing Steve Coogan and company’s Alan Partridge -the quick-witted and eminently inflated fictional radio and television host - to American multiplexes. The corporatization of a British radio station causes the recently axed overnight man (Colm Meany) to flip out: he ends up taking prisoners and second billing behind Alan as co-host of the live broadcast of the hostage negotiations. Capable of self-assured incivility measured with just enough obsequiousness to avoid getting punched in the nose, Coogan gives us his choicest work since playing real-life record exec Tony Wilson in Michael Winterbottom’s equally penetrating media mockery, 24 Hour Party People. It’s one thing when audience guffaws “step on” dialogue, and another to sit alone, repeatedly hitting "pause" to play catch-up after a paroxysm of laughs made it impossible to catch your breath. Ten minutes of Partridge yields ten times the laughs of both Anchorman films combined. 2013.
- "A bad year for good movies" • December 31, 2014