Walter Allen

Stanley Kauffmann on Films: Fancy Free
February 20, 2006

IF THERE IS A HEAVEN FOR COMIC iconoclasts, Laurence Sterne is leaning out of it, smiling. The film made of his novel Tristram Shandy—more properly, the film instigated by his novel—has caused a stir because it juggles cinematic conventions just as he gamboled with the conventions of the novel.   However, as he views things from his present perch, Sterne can see that, unlike his own daring, this picture had predecessors in wry film-consciousness.