Stan & Ollie
|Stan & Ollie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon S. Baird|
|Produced by||Faye Ward|
|Written by||Jeff Pope|
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
Stan & Ollie is a 2018 biographical film directed by Jon S. Baird and written by screenplay by Jeff Pope. Based on 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 was released in the United Kingdom on 11 January 2019.
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.
In 1937, Stan refuses to renew his contract with Hal Roach because it failed to financially recognize the global fame the pair enjoyed at that time. Ollie remains tied to Roach on a different contract and remained as a solo act, spliting the duo and leaving Stan biter.
In 1953, poor pre-publicity in Britain managed by the producer Bernard Delfont means the tour begins in almost empty back street theatres. Belatedly, Delfont organise some public appearances and word of their visit to Britain spreads, resulting in them booking larger venues.
During the tour the pair, driven by Stan, continue to write and develop gags for the film. There is, however, an ominous silence from its London-based producer. Once the tour arrives in London, Stan pays a visit to the film's producer himself and discovers there is insufficient funding and the project has been cancelled. He can't bring himself to tell Ollie and their script development continues.
They are soon joined by their respective wives, Ida and Lucille, at London's Savoy Hotel before they are to perform at a sold out two-week residency at the Lyceum Theatre. After the opening night at the Lyceum, a party is held to honour them but Stan's feelings of Ollie's betrayal come to the surface when they have a public argument over the past movie contract fiasco that split them up. Tensions also show in public between the two wives leading Delfont to remark that he's got two double acts for the price of one.
Despite their friendship having taken a blow, they press on with their public appearances which includes judging a beauty contest in Worthing. However, just when they are about to announce the winner, Ollie has a heart attack and is forced into bed rest. When a doctor warns him that he must never go onstage again as the strain could be fatal, he informs Stan that he intends to retire immediately.
Stan finds it impossible to work with the English comic that Delfont sets up for him so that the tour can continue simply because he isn't Ollie. Ollie in turn decides he can't spend the rest of his life idle in bed. The two make up and recognise the real fondness that exists between them and what pleasure they get from each other. Stan confesses he has deceived Ollie about the prospect of the future film even while they continued to work on it. Ollie confesses in turn that he had read that from Stan's demeanour and already knew. They continue to complete the tour to great acclaim from their fans in Ireland despite Ollie's poor health.
- 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
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. It took place in Dudley, in the West Midlands of England, as well as The Old Rep theatre Birmingham, the West London Film Studios and Bristol in South West England.
Filming hours were limited due to Reilly requiring four hours in the make-up chair each day.
The film premiered in October 2018 at the BFI London Film Festival. While Entertainment One Films will handle distribution in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Benelux, Sony Pictures Classics were given the right to distribute the film in the United States, Latin America, Eastern Europe, China and South Africa.
Following Stan & Ollie's October 2018 debut at the BFI London Film Festival, the film received positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91% based on 65 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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 has 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 concludes "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."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Boston Society of Film Critics Awards||December 16, 2018||Best Actor||John C. Reilly||Won|||
|British Independent Film Awards||December 2, 2018||Best Actor||Steve Coogan||Nominated|||
|Best Supporting Actress||Nina Arianda||Nominated|
|Best Casting||Andy Pryor||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Guy Speranza||Nominated|
|Best Make Up and Hair Design||Mark Coulier and Jeremy Woodhead||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||John Paul Kelly||Nominated|
|Breakthrough Producer||Faye Ward||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||January 13, 2019||Best Actor in a Comedy||John C. Reilly||Nominated|||
|Golden Globe Awards||January 6, 2019||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||John C. Reilly||Nominated|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||December 10, 2018||Best Supporting Actress||Nina Arianda||Runner-up|||
|Best Costume Design||Guy Speranza||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||John Paul Kelly||Runner-up|
|Best Body of Work||John C. Reilly
(also for The Sisters Brothers & Ralph Breaks the Internet)
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