About the film
Director: Jon S. Baird
Actors: Steve Coogan, John C. ReillyFilth director Jon S. Baird and co-writer Jeff Pope, (Oscar-nominated for Philomena), bring together a beautifully crafted biopic and heartfelt celebration of the friendship between comedy giants Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C Reilly).
The movie follows their reunion for a 1953 tour of UK and Ireland. Despite the efforts of a well-meaning manager (Rufus Jones), the various venues they are booked to play are barely selling any tickets. Despite the pressures of a hectic schedule, and with the support of their wives Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda) – a formidable double act in their own right - the pair’s love of performing, as well as for each other, endures as they secure their place in the hearts of their adoring public.
Coogan and Reilly give superb headline performances, and both disappear entirely into their characters, nailing the pair’s comic routines in a way that quietly speaks to a thousand hours of practice. In particular, John C Reilly is incredible as Hardy. This actor makes great films greater.
If you think Laurel and Hardy’s comedy was simplistic slapstick comedy – big mistake, because at their best Stan and Ollie were nothing short of sublime and so is this film.