Stan & Ollie
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About this movie
In 1953, their careers on the wane and unable to find work in Hollywood, the legendary comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy undertook a UK tour, offering up their ‘greatest hits’ in theatres throughout the country. Such is the backdrop for Jon S. Baird’s alternately hilarious and deeply moving paean to two icons who refused to go gentle into that good night. The great Steve Coogan (like Stan Laurel, born in Lancashire) plays Stan, ‘the skinny one’, with a brio and underlying intelligence that may surprise some as he handles the business side of their increasingly fraught tour, while John C. Reilly, caked in a ton of make-up, gives the ill and overweight Ollie depth and a deserved dignity. And the comedic shenanigans the duo perform to dwindling audiences still have the grace and timing to elicit big laughs—not to mention the sparkling interplay between their two wives, Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda), who merit a film of their own. This is a charmer of a film, sure to elicit broad smiles from all who see it.
‘An irresistible homage to the iconic comedy duo… Stan & Ollie glows with respect and affection for its title characters, their long and loyal friendship and their immortal comic brilliance… Coogan and Reilly do an extremely difficult job extremely well, in that their versions of Laurel and Hardy are recognisable as the iconic clowns from the duo’s own films, but also convincing as rounded human beings.’—Nicholas Barber, BBC