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

Next for Salmon Arm underpass: build new tracks to avoid construction area

‘Pretty big area’ of downtown to be affected, city staff hope to keep impact to a minimum

Salmon Arm chosen for suicide prevention study

City stood out for efforts already being undertaken in the community

Practice night provides Salmon Arm firefighters with a little taste of real thing

Fire department could use more recruits if you’d like to develop skills, help the community

New trail bridge near Salmon Arm unsuitable for horses

Finishing touches will be put on trail running parallel to Salmon River Road in the spring

AIM Roads Inc. helps improve access to Malakwa Community Park

Project was a team effort with AIM and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Hergott: Day of remembrance for road traffic victims

Lawyer Paul Hergott’s latest column

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

Revelstoke man who sexually assaulted drunk woman sentenced to 18 months house arrest

For the first nine months he cannot leave his home between 2 p.m. and 11 a.m. except for work

Kamloops RCMP seek driver who hit teenager, then drove away

The 13-year-old boy was in a crosswalk, crossing Seymour Street at Eighth Avenue

City of Kelowna implements two new electric vehicle charging stations

EV drivers will now have four charging options across the city

Most Read