Stan & Ollie
Film review by Steve Duffy –
Laurel & Hardy, one of the world’s great comedy teams, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As the charm and beauty of their performances shines through, they re-connect with their adoring fans. The tour becomes a hit, but Stan & Ollie can’t quite shake the specter of Laurel and Hardy’s past; the long-buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages, they are aware that they may be approaching their swan song, trying to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.
What makes this film really work is the comedic chemistry between John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan. Their interaction is movie magic and captures the believable relationship between the two. As a team, they recreate the comics slapstick routine perfectly.
Reilly’s transformation into Ollie is impeccable. It was a joy to watch him deliver a performance that is both real and emotional.
Coogan delivers so many great moments that makes you believe, he could be Stan, this Hollywood comedy legend.
There is nothing adventurous or new about the film. Stan & Ollie is a standard Hollywood biopic that is trying to reintroduce comedy’s greatest duo to a new generation.
“Stan & Ollie” will be a treat for many Laurel and Hardy fans. Stay for the credits, because you will be able to watch the real Stan & Ollie in action.
Rating: PG for some language, and for smoking
Runtime: 98 minutes