Movie Review Stan & Ollie (2018)

Length: 1Hr 37
Rating: PG
Release date:11th January 2018
About: Laurel and Hardy — the world’s greatest comedy team — face an uncertain future as their golden era of Hollywood films remain long behind them. Diminished by age, the duo set out to reconnect with their adoring fans by touring variety halls in Britain in 1953. The shows become an instant hit, but Stan and Ollie can’t quite shake the past as long-buried tension and Hardy’s failing health start to threaten their precious partnership.

The Good

  • Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are absolutely perfect as the legendary Laurel and Hardy. There is no one in my mind that could have out performed these two men and it’s truly a shame that it was over looked by so many of the awards.
  • The relationship between Stan and Ollie was beautifully presented and it really broke my heart at some points; forget about this being a nostalgic biopic, it’s a love story that proving that there is so much more to love than romance.
  • I loved the nod to Hardy’s nick name ‘Babe’. Such a sweet name and in a world of toxic masculinity, it was heartwarming to have Stan use it with such affection.
  • The Black Country Museum was used for a number of outside shots. Some people may recognise those locations as being from Peaky Blinders.
  • There’s some beautiful cinematography going on; from the opening scene’s mirrored faces to the shadow dance at the end. It’s a film student’s dream for analysis.

The Bad

  • It’s a rather slow film that feels much longer than it is. While the film had the relationships spot on, the plot and pace needed a good fine tuning.
  • It’s one of those films that will have fans of the duo a little irritated with some of the inaccuracies, while those who are unfamiliar may not feel as completely engaged as they could have been.

The Ugly

  • I think I’ve been spoiled by Bohemian Rhapsody, but I didn’t leave this film as uplifted as much as I thought I should have. Perhaps had the film ended two scenes earlier, but even then I’m not certain.

Final Thoughts

The joy of the film is to be found watching the two main leads, but I perhaps would have liked more of their better days than the tour around the UK. It’s worth a watch and a weep, but I can’t see it being a repeat viewing for many.


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