Stan and Ollie

“It could have been a standard by-the-numbers origin-story biopic — instead, Stan & Ollie looks at the legendary screen duo of Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly) as their career winds down. The emphasis here is on the way the funny bits in their lives come tinged with melancholy — not a bad thing, really, when you’ve actors like these who can deftly balance both comedy and tragedy. Director Jon S. Baird seems to have an instinctive grasp that the best course of action would be to trust his performers.

“Coogan nails the fussy mannerisms and mischievous wordplay of the British half of duo, Stan. Though Laurel was known as the writing brains of the team, he delighted in playing the fool to Ollie’s exasperated curmudgeon. Reilly is staggeringly good as Hardy, never losing sight of the big man’s light-on-his-feet performing skills or the painstaking effort it took to make it look easy.

“Kudos to Coogan and Reilly, not just for their gifts of impersonation, but for detailing the bedrock connection at work and play between the two men: Stan the shy workaholic; Ollie the fun-seeking extrovert.” - Rolling Stone


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