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New Laurel and Hardy movie.
The world premiere of Stan & Ollie will take place on 21st October at the Cineworld, Leicester Square, London, attended by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, who star as the legendary movie comedy duo. Director Jon S. Baird, BAFTA award-winning writer Jeff Pope, producer Faye Ward and cast members will also be in attendance. Entertainment One (eOne) and the BFI London Film Festival are also pleased to announce that there will be simultaneous preview screenings of Stan & Ollie taking place at cinemas across the UK
The movie focuses on Stan and Olllie's personal appearances in Britain and will be released in the UK and Ireland by Entertainment One on January 11th 2019.

Watch the Trailer:


Media comment.

(Following world premier screening).


OCTOBER 21, 2018 PH

There’s a scene in Stan & Ollie, in the offices of a London production company, in which Steve Coogan, playing Stan Laurel, sits down to wait for his appointment and arches his back just enough that his bowler hat rises off his head. And then lets it fall back on again. In the next few minutes he performs a silent slapstick comedy routine that is as exquisitely delicate as it is hilarious. The receptionist gazes at him with contempt. She doesn’t recognise him, and she isn’t impressed. It’s a sublime moment in Jon S Baird’s bittersweet film, which expresses on what exactly it means to be a has-been in a world of novelties, to be dismissed by the ignorant and constantly rediscovered even by the faithful.
It’s 1953, and Laurel and Hardy find themselves on tour in Britain. Their toxic split is several years behind them, but they are back together to transfer their movie hits to the stage and they are competing with new talent at every turn: Norman Wisdom in the theatres, and Abbott and Costello in the cinemas. Stan and Ollie are reduced to the smallest halls, and horribly diminished audiences. Even their most loyal fans assume they have retired, or worse. Still, when they perform Hard-Boiled Eggs and Nuts, or The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the audience is in hysterics. Stan, forever the brains of the outfit, keeps Ollie’s spirits up by promising a movie at the end of the tour. But if he can’t even win over the producer’s receptionist, that prospect looks doubtful.
John C Reilly plays Ollie, trapped in a fat suit, but nevertheless conveying the confusion and sadness of a man clinging on to his last chance of fame, and the comedy partner who gives him the gags he needs to win over each night’s audience. It’s a fine, even heartrending performance, but this is Coogan’s movie. The poignancy of Stan Laurel, a man with his best days behind him, but driven at all hours by a obsession with gag-making, is the culmination of many of his best characters, from the fame-hungry Alan Partridge to his own namesake in The Trip. His mania for for jokes will get him and his partner through these dark days, but what happens when the double-act eventually has to split. On tour, Ollie’s health fails, inevitably, prompting another crisis, just when it looks like they were on the up-and-up.
For me, a little Laurel and Hardy goes a long way, and I approached this film with trepidation. But it’s a thing of subdued beauty, a mediation on growing old and the power of friendship. And this is a real friendship, almost a lifeline, even if it was born of a professional partnership, an inspired wheeze courtesyof producer Hal Roach.
Baird trades endearingly on the nostalgia generated by his famous duo – shooting them in a simple two-shot, in silhouette or zeroing in on those two famous titfers, to remind us of the inspiration for his tale.
What did I like most about this film? Coogan’s jug-eared impersonation for sure. The secondary double-act of Shirley Henderson and Nina Ariana as the duo’s wives is a close call too. But most of all perhaps the magic of that all-pervasive melancholy tone. It means when the two boys skid into a familiar routine or gag in the middle of the straight business of everyday life it takes you unawares, and reminds you of the importance of laughter, or the value of friendship, and just how funny these two mismatched clowns could be.

Middleburg Film Review: 'Stan & Ollie' Packs Laughs and Tears with Career Best Turns from Steve Coogan and John C. Reillly • AwardsCircuit - By Clayton Davis

2018 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: The phrase “movie magic” has been tossed around for decades but I can’t think of a more perfect recent example than what is witnessed in Jon S. Baird‘s deeply felt and incredibly moving “Stan & Ollie.” Boasting two gargantuan performances from Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, the film is a refreshing look at aging Hollywood, while examing the friendship of two figures that meant so much to each other. Immaculately constructed, “Stan & Ollie” assembles a multitude of laughs, while not holding back to bring out a few tears.
“Stan & Ollie,” tells the story of Stan Laurel (Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (Reilly), the world’s most famous comedy duo. When the two attempt to reignite their film careers, they embark on what becomes their swan song, all along a grueling theatre tour of post-war Britain.
The film lives and ignites with the two ingenious achievements by Coogan and Reilly.  Coogan’s search and discovery into Stan’s deep-rooted insecurity is enlightening. He invites the viewer on the journey, showing his most fragile elements, before walloping the audience with his charismatic wit.
Reilly falls into Ollie with impeccable precision and genuine sensitivity. More than just a makeup trick, Reilly delivers a searing, realistic depiction of an emotional and delicately damaged soul. Shattering each scene he takes part in, not since “Chicago” has he proved his worth in the industry and gave a gift that will be felt for years to come.
One of the more surprising and enjoyable elements are the one-two punch turns from Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda as Laurel and Hardy’s wives Lucielle and Ida.  Henderson’s mousy words are believed in her pleading for her husband’s well-being, while Arianda’s comedic timing is just as brilliant as her dramatic calls. All these components measure up to one of the year’s best ensembles along with Danny Huston‘s biting producer and Rufus Jones‘ hilarious and skeevy tour manager.
Laurie Rose‘s camera work is perfectly executed, as the film’s brown hue adds to its classic feel.  A near ten-minute opening, almost entirely one shot, is a rapture. John Paul Kelly‘s production design along with Guy Speranza‘s costume work are two ingredients that make this sweet film all the sweeter. Rolfe Kent‘s music is his best composition since “Sideways,” as he walks the viewer to near tears, focusing on the moments with strings and piano tunes that are brilliantly accomplished.
Baird’s direction may feel standard, but he doesn’t paint a picture other than one of friendship, understanding, and love. The respect and adoration for Laurel and Hardy are apparent in every frame, showcasing his more inventive sensibilities. Jeff Pope‘s script packs a jolt, showing the struggles of old Hollywood splendidly. Letting Laurel and Hardy perform their renditions and bits on more than one occasion drives home what their legacy has meant to cinema.
“Stan & Ollie” is the kind of film you want to love, and are acutely attuned to its spirit. Its lavish sets and harmonious performances are just the surface of what it delivers. It cuts to the core of the men, following their uncertainty in a world that’s forgotten them without sacrificing their humanity. Intelligent and beautiful, the chamber in which Baird and team pack the story is a beautiful slice of cinematic history that is wholly satisfying.
Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly play iconic comic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in this film directed by Jon S. Baird.

"Genial" is the word for Stan & Ollie. Even though they remained household names for years after their heyday due to TV reruns of their many comedy hits, Laurel & Hardy are no doubt little-known to millennials. But the lovely performances by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly should lure a decent number of fans to this warm account of the team's final live performance tours through the British Isles in the early 1950s, thereby likely sparking a degree of renewed interest in one of Hollywood's most successful comedy teams.
“We're getting older, but we're not done yet,” Hardy, the fat one, proclaims early on, although, due to his weight and related health issues, he's closer to the end than he'd like to think. A popular screen team since 1926, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy specialized in slow-burn comedy routines that typically saw the derby-hatted duo sink ever-deeper into exasperating predicaments, with the slight, bewildered, borderline infantile Laurel usually leading the duo into trouble from which the smugly superior Hardy haughtily thinks he can extricate them. Built with a deliberation that at its best was both agonizing and hilarious, the humor almost invariably stemmed from the gradual compounding of multiple dilemmas one on top of another.
Working for producer Hal Roach from 1926-1940, the pair made dozens of shorts and 27 features. But when they left Roach, their status declined, as plainly delineated at the beginning of Jeff Pope's creditable but overly expository script. By the early 1950s, having been supplanted as the big screen's kings of comedy by Abbott and Costello, the duo was nearly broke. So they headed for the U.K. on a tour of live music-hall performances with the hope of launching a new movie with promoter/producer Bernard Delfont (Rufus Jones), whose abiding interest at the time was promoting the home-bred comedian Norman Wisdom.
Even for those well acquainted with the looks and behavior of the two performers, it takes no time at all to accept Coogan and Reilly as Laurel and Hardy. Born, like Laurel, in Lancashire, England, Coogan is more conventionally good-looking than the man he's playing, but he slips neatly into the role of the duo's brains and writer. He seems an eminently decent and normal man whose expertise is playing a slow-witted simpleton.
For his part, Reilly is having a career-high year, with his outstanding dominant performance in Jacques Audiard's Western The Sisters Brothers and now this wonderful turn, in which he all but disappears into the Hardy persona. Outfitted with some extra padding and prosthetically enhanced with an ample double chin, Reilly excels at conveying the extreme politesse, exaggerated gestures, self-satisfied condescension and inevitable exasperation that were always part of the Hardy shtick. Much of the time, you feel like you're beholding the real duo, so thoroughly conceived are the actors' physicality and performances.
Arriving in England in 1953, the comics find themselves booked into less-than-deluxe accommodations at Newcastle, and their initial shows are sparsely attended. Delfont (born Boris Winogradsky in Russia, brother of future tycoon Lew Grade and later to become Lord Delfont) proves slippery and evasive when it comes to money and support for the script Laurel is writing, Robin Hood.
But eventually the houses improve, and so does the film with the arrival of the comics' wives as the boys prepare for their long-awaited two-week engagement in London. Laurel's wife is a force of Russian nature named Ida (Nina Arianda), a dyed-blonde whirlwind with less than zero tolerance for fools who seldom has a good word to say about anyone but always tends to the team's welfare. With her brash assertiveness and bold effrontery, Arianda steals everything in sight.
But equally effective in her own way is Shirley Henderson as Hardy's wife Lucille, a bird-like creature with a squeaky little voice whose tiny stature next to her hulking husband creates a constantly amusing disparity. Lucille and Ida soon emerge as a contrasting comedy team of their own, creating a neat parallel act to that of the men.
Even as the team's fortune improves — their foursome is put up at the deluxe Savoy Hotel and the London fortnight is SRO — the feeling gathers that this is likely the boys' last hurrah. The imagined film is not to be, and it's not surprising when Hardy's health takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Like all old troopers, they'd like to go out with their boots on, but sanity prevails, not that, in the end, it will prolong Hardy's life for long.
By the time of the touching conclusion, one has come to like and care about these sweet old guys a good deal. 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; these good men have their differences but well understand that whatever they might have accomplished individually would never have remotely equaled what they were able to do together. This is clear from the fact that, after Hardy's death, Laurel never acted again despite many offers, even if he did continue to write.
Coogan and Reilly not only excel at creating convincing impressions of one of the most famous comic teams of the last century, but they do an uncanny job of recreating a handful of their famous routines, which today mostly play as mild yet expertly timed delights.
There was little that was bold or adventurous about Laurel and Hardy's comedy, which is doubtless why their films have not been rediscovered by younger generations over the past half-century; unusually for top comics, their work was benign, not subversive. But even if it only occasionally provokes big laughs, this sweet, small film makes you smile most of the way through, which may be a more uncommon feat.
Release dates:

USA - December 28th 2018
Belgium - January 9th 2019
Greece & Cyprus
Netherlands - January 10th
United Kingdom - January 11th
Portugal - February 2nd
Australia/New Zealand - February 21st
France - March 6th
Spain - March 8th
Italy - April 18th.
The release date for the DVD of this movie has been announced as June 3rd in the United Kingdom (it's a BBC production). Amazon UK is taking pre-orders at £9.99.

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