Stan & Ollie (2018)

Director: Jon S Baird

Writer: Jeff Pope (Screenplay)

Starring: John C Reilly, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston, Stephanie Hyam, Nina Arianda

 

Plot: Laurel and Hardy, the world’s most famous comedy duo, attempt to reignite their film careers as they embark on what becomes their swan song – a grueling theatre tour of post-war Britain.


Tagline – The untold story of the world’s greatest comedy act.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Comical Delight

 

Story: Stan & Ollie starts as we learn how Laurel (Coogan) and Hardy (Reilly) were the biggest comedy act in the world, they conquered countries across the world with their routines, only their contracts weren’t on a par with fellow greats of the time Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. In a rash decision Laurel tries to get a bigger deal leading to him needing to find a new studio, the pair break up.

15 years later, the careers for both men haven’t gone well, but reunited for a reunion tour of Britain and the hopes of a movie together, the friendship the men had is shown in a new light with regrets coming to light about decisions they both made through their career.

 

 

Thoughts on Stan & Ollie

 

Characters – Stan Laurel is one half of the comedy duo, he writes the material, plans more and demands more back for his work, he tires to help the duo get better pay, which only sees the partnership end, he is the one trying to work on the movie script and you can see how much being original meant to him. Oliver Hardy is the big man of the duo, he had gambling problems and like Stan they both had women problems rising to the top. He was left in a difficult position by Stan tied to a contract, but will use the tour to make up for lost time between the two friends. Lucille is the wife of Oliver who has been caring for him since the break up of the act, she is always concerned about his health, while getting tired of hearing Ida’s stories. Ida is the Russian wife of Stan who sees herself as a movie star, she seems to enjoy the spotlight more than Lucille and will play along with any act she can.

PerformancesJohn C Reilly and Steve Coogan are perfect in these roles, they show the chemistry the two can have which you feel the real partnership had. They hit the funny lines and the emotional lines showing us just how the two are two of the best comedy acts in acting today. Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda both give us wonderful supporting performances showing the concern and confidence their characters required.

StoryThe story here follows the reunion of Laurel & Hardy as they embark on a tour of Britain in hopes of securing a movie deal. This is a different type of story than you would expect from a biopic because, we start with the pair on top of the world and see nothing of their rise to the top. We see what caused the break up and how over the years it has been held in by the two men who were both helpless in the situation. The one thing the pair never lost though, was their chemistry and they wowed audience across Britain in what turned out to be their farewell tour. We do see many biopic which show all the highlights of the subject’s career, this showed what happened afterwards which felt like a breath of fresh air in the biopic heavy world we have at the moment.

Biopic/ComedyThe shows us how Laurel & Hardy remained big household names even after their stars had faded, they became the duo people looked up to and always were willing to give a joke out. This does only show their farewell tour though which showed they could perform on front of any sized audience.

SettingsThe film takes the duo across the UK, each setting feels authentic to their performances in the post-war Britain and as the performance went on the venues got bigger.


Scene of the Movie –
The routines.

That Moment That Annoyed Me If you did want to see their great work, you will not be seeing any of that here.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful film and one that could easily be enjoyed by all, it has two perfect performances from the leads and will leave you in tears and smiles.

 

Overall: One of the best biopics you will see.

Rating

 

 

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Philomena (2013)

logoDirector: Stephen Frears

Writer: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope (Screenplay) Martin Sixsmith (Book)

Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Anna Maxwell Martin, Michelle Fairley

 

Plot: A world-weary political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) picks up the story of a woman’s Philomena (Dench) search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Martin and Philomena make an unlikely couple who goes on an adventure to find her long lost son.

 

Verdict: Emotional Story

Story: What can I say that hasn’t been said already? The story is brilliant and being based on a true story is even more incredible. You will laugh, you will cry and you will enjoy the story of one lady’s last attempt to find her long lost son. (10/10)

 

Actor Review: Judi Dench – Philomena a nice old lady who has been looking for her son for fifty years and goes on a trip to find him in America. Dench is brilliant in this role, she has perfect timing on all her lines that will give you the laughs or the tears. (10/10)

 dench

Actor Review: Steve Coogan – Martin Sixsmith disgraced reporter who takes a chance on a human interest piece that will change him forever. Coogan is brilliant and shows he doesn’t need to be that stupid clown comedy actor when he has such talent for the serious roles. (10/10)

 coogan

Director Review: Stephen Frears – Great direction throughout to show the story unfold so well. (10/10)

 

Drama: Brilliant drama that will give you all different emotions throughout. (10/10)

Believability: Based on a true story (10/10)

Chances of Tears: Yes throughout you may get some. (5/10)

Settings: Each setting works well for the story and offers a new look to each scenario that the two end up going through. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: It got nominated for best picture so you know it will be good, this is a must watch film that will make you have a real emotional rollercoaster. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Dench and Coogan work brilliantly together.

Funniest Scene: Philomena being over friendly to everyone.

Favourite Quote: Phinomena ‘You should be nice to the people on the way up, cause you might meet them again on the way down, you of all people should know about that.’

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 4 Oscars

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son

 

Overall: Brilliant, Brilliant Drama That Is A Must Watch

Rating 98