Stan and Ollie: film review - (4 out of 5)

Stan and Ollie
Stan and Ollie

When I was young Laurel and Hardy seemed to be on the TV a lot and I loved their slapstick humour.

It’s a timeless comedy that has inspired many famous acts that followed them.

So I’ve been waiting with anticipation for this film ever since I first heard about it.

And for the most part it has proved well worth the wait.

The film starts with the two at their height in the US filming one of their most iconic routines, but soon moves on several years.

The work has dried up and they have embarked on a tour of UK theatres in anticipation of also taking part in a new movie over here.

But the audiences are sparse and it feels like their time is over.

With all this, tensions grow between the two.

Can they recapture the spark and draw the crowds?

It may sound a bit depressing but there’s some marvellous gentle humour.

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are quite superb in the main roles, coming up with all the mannerisms that are so familiar.

The two are ably backed up by Shirley Henderson as Hardy’s wife Lucille and Nina Arianda as Laurel’s other half Ida Kitaeva.

The comic sketches on stage are as funny as the originals which is another pat on the back for the two actors.

The director Jon S. Baird injects a real period feel to the film and it’s obvious he has a love for the subjects of the movie.

There’s much to commend the film and the only real niggle for me was that Steve Coogan at times just didn’t seem to physically look or act like a man in his 60s.

But that apart this is a fitting tribute to two men who gave the world so much timeless laughter.

Film details: Stan and Ollie (PG) 97mins

Director: Jon S. Baird

Starring: John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, Steve Coogan

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol