Film review – Stan and Ollie


STAN and Ollie is not your bog standard biopic, and is all the better for it.

This touching story about Hollywood’s greatest comedy double act is as much about the passing of time, regret and enduring friendship as it is about Laurel and Hardy.

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A bittersweet, tender and poignant account of the two great funnymen in the twilight of their years, Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are immense in their portrayal of Stan and Ollie. So good, in fact, that at times you forget that you are not watching the real Laurel and Hardy.

We catch up with the comic greats in 1953, with their golden age long behind them, as they embark upon an ill-fated tour of the music halls of Britain and Ireland. Their star is sorely in its descent, as Abbot & Costello’s and Norman Wisdom’s rocket to the stratosphere.

With poor ticket sales, past resentments come back to light and Hardy’s health deteriorates with the stresses of being on the road. But like the true showmen they really were, ‘the show must go on’, and go on it does.

In the end, it is their love of performing and each other that wins our hearts all over again. This is a beautiful movie, brimming over with humour and pathos. You will leave the cinema with a lump in your throat.

Go and see it.