The true story of comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as
they embark on their final tour in the twilight of their careers.
Stan & Ollie (2018)
Directed by Jon S. Baird
Written by Jeff Pope
Starring Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson,
Nina Arianda, Rufus Jones, Danny Huston
Laurel & Hardy were among the pioneers of comedy, back when cinema was just starting out. They were some of the only stars to successfully transition from silent films to talking pictures, and every comedy duo from Abbott & Costello to Key & Peele owes them a debt of gratitude for laying the foundation. They had a working relationship that evolved into a lifelong friendship, and the impeccable Stan & Ollie focuses on the English tour they embarked on in the 1950's, when the audience had moved on and they had begun to realize their time in the spotlight had dwindled.
Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly both deliver career-best performances as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy respectively. Their chemistry is flawless and you really get the feeling that they've been in the game for decades. The film doesn't sugarcoat their friendship for the big screen. They both had personal issues that got in the way of their careers, and they suffered for it. I like that the film tells all sides of the story. It has that charm that Laurel & Hardy always had in their films. It's funny and delightful from beginning to end, with a bit of drama thrown in for good measure.
Stan & Ollie is easily one of the most overlooked films of 2018 and will be seen by virtually nobody because of its limited release. It shines a spotlight on the world's greatest comedy duo, without whom comedic film would not be what it is today. With two wonderful lead performances and a script from the screenwriter of Philomena, Stan & Ollie is a great biopic that deserves to be seen.