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Stan & Ollie is a fine biopic with great performances, beautiful scenarios and a powerful story about the value of friendship.
I didn't know much about these comedians and this film offers a great introduction to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (affectionately nicknamed Babe), two of the most fascinating entertainers of the Golden Era of Hollywood. I like discovering the roots of filmmaking and physical comedy. The movie shows who they are, their artistic personalities and the dynamics of their friendship.
Directed by Jon S. Baird, the story starts in 1937 when the duo is at the peak of their career. Then it quickly moves to 1953 when their career is not solid anymore and the comedians embark on a trip to Great Britain to reconnect with fans and regain fame. Even though they are famous, there are empty seats at their shows. They have recognition, but not that much money. They return to what they know and love to do - comedy. People thought they retired, but they managed to perform and work hard like they did from the beginning. I like that the film centers in this poignant part of their lives where their friendship is put to a test, while they struggle with aging and loosing popularity. They haven't stopped dreaming and hoped to obtain the financing for a movie project.
I enjoyed their slapstick comedy and noticed how different humor was in the 30s and 50s. I appreciated how committed they were as working actors. Stan and Ollie conformed a unique duo. They shared a strong friendship and were not only business partners, but truly close friends. Their bond was special. They complemented each other in the creative process and on stage with grace and sentiment. They seemed to be in constant collaboration. The film also shows their dynamics outside the stage and with their wives, who were kind of rivals, but they supported each other at the same time. Their love for comedy and performing arts was genuine. They really lived for that. But they didn't always have happy moments. We see them disagree and even break each others' hearts. Despite their different point of views about business, they shared a true love for performing and entertaining.
My favorite scene is the iconic gag where they keep on going in circles to find each other when they are next to each other all the time. I like all the jokes and I really enjoyed them.
The most remarkable aspect of this film are the performances by John C. Reilly (Ollie) and Steve Coogan (Stan). Not only for their impeccable physical resemblance, helped by some awesome make up, but for their interpretations and rapport, which reflect the spirit of the duo. You can feel the actors' admiration for the comedic duo.
The message of the film is that no matter how much you disagree and even fight with your friends, true feelings always endure and true friendship is endless.
I give Stan & Ollie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Is a great movie for those who are familiar with early Hollywood films and for us who want to discover and connect with the origins of cinema.
Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.
The worst film I've watched since the Imitation Game. Steve Coogans portrayal of Stan Laurel was abysmal. The harder he seemed to try the worse it got, and did he try hard!
A warm and wonderful homage to one of the greatest comedy teams of all time, acted with great aplomb and faithfulness by Coogan and Reilly. An excellent film for those who remember Stan and Ollie with love.
Pleasant enough, somewhat old fashion movie about a great comedy duo.
Wonderful movie, with fantastic lead performances.
Maybe it helps to have loved Laurel & Hardy to love "Stan & Ollie," but I have and I do. Great tribute to the original greats with amazing performances by Coogan and Reilly.
A very funny and poignant movie.
Gentle homage is all you need to know. Mildly amusing and mildly emotional.
Both Coogan and Reilly are excellent. This is a tale of a tested friendship. The wives Henderson and Arianda are a double-act in their own right, and come close to stealing the honours.
Superb performances bring back the magic of Laurel & Hardy. Highly recommended.
a truly heartwarming story about a friendship that was born in show business and transcends way after that.