Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly star as Hollywood Golden Age comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the biopic, Stan and Ollie, playing the Salmar Classic on Saturday, Feb. 9. (Photo contributed)

Golden Age comedy legends seek triumphant return in Stan and Ollie

Cinemaphile/Joanne Sargent

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were perhaps the most successful comedy duo in entertainment history, having appeared in more than 100 films together from 1921 to 1951. They were the kings of Hollywood comedy and adored by millions, when a business disagreement interfered and created a brief, bitter split between the two. This movie, Stan and Ollie, isn’t about their earlier lives or about the prime of their career; here their career has bottomed out, and they are trying to mount a comeback. The story is picked up in 1953 when, re-united, they embark on a real-life tour of the UK and Ireland.

Intent on regaining some of their old magic, Stan and Ollie set out to win back audiences and raise money for a film that will mark their triumphant return. They’re now in their 60s and Hardy’s health is failing, but they are troupers.

As they trundle from one half-empty small-town music hall to another, their chemistry onstage is still absolutely perfect as they play out their old beloved routines, but offstage, it’s complicated. With the ups and downs of dwindling fame, cracks in their relationship begin to show and build to a major blow-up.

As buried resentments are exhumed, the two men are forced to confront truths about their personal and professional dealings, and slowly come to realize that the sun is setting on their careers.

Related: Documentary This Mountain Life a love letter to the outdoors

Related: Store owner battles village matriarch in The Bookshop

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly both give extraordinary performances, where we hardly recognize them as themselves—they simply are Laurel and Hardy. The actors obviously intensely studied the comedy legends’ every mannerism, expression, and nuance as their portrayals are so believable it might have been actual footage.

From their uncanny physical performances and slapstick timing to their interplay behind the scenes, they play Stan and Ollie to perfection. Make sure you stay for the credits when they show the real Laurel and Hardy to see how bang-on their performances are.

Stan and Ollie is a heart-warming, yet heart-breaking, and beautiful story about two life-long friends who feel the need to have one more stab at the big time. Not just a wonderfully funny tribute to two comic legends, it’s a subtle, sensitive portrayal of an aging and difficult friendship, and a story of real love and forgiveness.

As we see the final days of a remarkable partnership, it is a slow, reluctant goodbye, not just to an act but to an era. Don’t miss this one.

Stan and Ollie plays at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Salmar Classic Cinema. And don’t forget our nine-day International Film Festival starts on Feb. 15.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Salmon Arm thrift stores temporarily refuse donations to keep up with glut

Too much stuff for storage space, staff shortage, main reasons for sporadic closures

CSRD to assess rural Sicamous, South Shuswap housing needs

UBCM to provide $33,000 through 2019 Housing Needs Reports initiative

Shuswap woman protests for family court reform

Goals include increased resources for people who wish to represent themselves

Salmon Arm pool to close for maintenance

SASCU Recreation Centre shutdown to last for two weeks, re-opens Sept. 9

Alberta man killed in Highway 97A collision south of Sicamous

Aug. 16 crash under investigation by the RCMP and BC Coroners Service

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

RCMP catch ‘erratic’ driving thieves; upon release steal mountain bike

The incident involved a police chase, taser, and a destroyed vehicle

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Riot on the Roof returns to top of North Okanagan Parkade

Party of the summer will rock out above the city

Heavy police responses in Kamloops connected to unfounded weapons calls

Mounties were seen in Westsyde and in North Kamloops on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning

Letter: Festivalgoer says thank you by shopping in Salmon Arm

Writer expresses gratitude to Roots and Blues and community

Suspect drops white powder running from police near Kelowna playground

Kelowna RCMP responded to reports of two individuals swinging a chain in a park

Most Read