#REVIEW: “STAN & OLLIE”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
From Director Jon. S Baird and Writer Jeff Pope comes the story of one of the most famous Comedy duos that the world ever has seen, Laurel and Hardy. Stan & Ollie is magnificent and delightful and shows the brilliance behind Laurel and Hardy that is exemplified by the two lead actors who do some of their best work to bringing these icons to life.
Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly) would change the face of Comedy with their groundbreaking humour. The Film details their contract disputes and falling-out which led to a split for some 16 years, and then their reunion as they embarked on a tour in post-war Britain. The duo were expected to sell-out every show of their tour, but unfortunately things didn’t work out as planned, some pent-up grudges interfered and their careers ended shortly after the tour.
The Film works largely due to Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly’s performances. Their chemistry is phenomenal and the Script they are given is fantastic. Jeff Pope‘s Script focuses on the struggles between Stan & Ollie, while also focusing on who they were as individuals and despite their differences, they still were better off together. What makes the Script so powerful though, is in this modern age where Slapstick is seen as something rather unappreciated, it still brings delight and joy to an audience as if we were in that time period. Yes, the movie technically is a Period Piece, but making something land like the Film does, definitely is an achievement.
Coogan brings to life Stan Laurel and he is simply so remarkable the Film feels like a Documentary at times. That is not to say that Reilly in the role of Oliver Hardy is not also extraordinary, because he is. Like the Duo they play, the Movie would have fallen flat without their own magical pairing.
Stan & Ollie is one of the most endearing films we’ve seen in a while. While clocking-in at 97 minutes, every moment is filled with pure heart.
eOne Films release STAN & OLLIE in theatres on January 18, 2019.