Stan and Ollie
Stan & Ollie is a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Jon S. Baird and written by Jeff Pope. Based on the later years of the lives of the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, the film stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. It premiered in October 2018 at the BFI London Film Festival. The film was released in the United States on 28 December 2018 and in the UK on 11 January 2019.
Laurel and Hardy -- the world's greatest comedy team -- face an uncertain future as their golden era of Hollywood films remain long behind them. 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
At the 76th Golden Globe Awards, Reilly was nominated for Best Actor
– Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and at the 72nd British Academy Film
Awards the film earned three nominations, including Best British Film
and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Coogan.
Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly were announced in January 2016 as lined up to play the duo in a biopic to be directed by Jon S. Baird. The film was written by Jeff Pope, who had previously collaborated with Coogan on the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Philomena. Pope described the comedy duo as being his "heroes".
Principal UK photography began in spring 2017, taking place in Dudley, in the West Midlands, as well as The Old Rep theatre Birmingham, the West London Film Studios and Bristol. Various locations along the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire were used for the rail sequences.
Filming hours were limited due to Reilly requiring four hours in the make-up chair each day.
Stan & Ollie premiered in October 2018 at the BFI London Film Festival. While Entertainment One Films handled distribution in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Benelux, Sony Pictures Classics was given the right to distribute the film in the United States, Latin America, Eastern Europe, China and South Africa.
Following the debut of Stan & Ollie in October 2018 at the BFI London Film Festival, the film received very positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92%. The website's critical consensus reads, "Stan & Ollie pays tribute to a pair of beloved entertainers with an affectionate look behind the scenes -- and a moving look at the burdens and blessings of a creative bond."
Guy Lodge of Variety wrote: "Portraying Laurel and Hardy's final comic collaboration with bittersweet affection, Jon S. Baird's film is a laid-back, gamely performed tribute." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter had high praise for the lead actors saying: "Much of the time, you feel like you're beholding the real duo, so thoroughly conceived are the actors' physicality and performances." He concluded: "Everything the film has to offer is obvious and on the surface, its pleasures simple and sincere under the attentive guidance of director Jon S. Baird."
Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post wrote: "As a winsome glance back, and as a piece of artistic preservation, 'Stan & Ollie' would be enjoyable enough. But it becomes truly transcendent in the hands of John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan.
Writing in The Guardian, Mark Kermode said: "Steve Coogan and John C Reilly excel in this bittersweet film about the twilight years of the great double act".
Steve Coogan as Stanley "Stan" Laurel
John C. Reilly as Oliver "Ollie" Hardy
Shirley Henderson as Lucille Hardy
Danny Huston as Hal Roach
Nina Arianda as Ida Kitaeva Laurel
Rufus Jones as Bernard Delfont
Susy Kane as Cynthia Clark