|February 13th, 2019||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Stan and Ollie
A new film about Laurel and Hardy featuring John C. Reilly as Hardy and Steve Coogan as Laurel. The movie is a fun and thoughtful view of both men, starting with their heyday at the Roach studios, but the film spends most of its time in the early 1950's, when both were down on their luck, no longer in favor, and tour English theaters to build up support for a new film.
They deal with a new, indifferent world. A secretary keeps calling Stan 'Mr. Lauren' over and over, and Stan looks on with sadness at a poster of Abbot and Costello...the new kids on the block (although soon to be replaced).
At a bathing beauty contest, early rock n roll is in the background.
I enjoyed the actors...they really looked like Laurel and Hardy, and catch the
strength and frictions of their teamwork...they understood each other, but also, Ollie blew a lot of money of racing and wives, and Laurel had differences with studio heads, also wanting more money...which led to him getting dumped by Roach.
I thought the film was very human and moving, also I enjoyed Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda, playing Lucille and Ida, the wives. They made a good comedy team on their own, and contrasted a Hollywood aristocrat type and a more down to earth other, Lucille worried over hardy's health, as his heart isn't up to all the endless touring.
I also enjoyed the period recreation, since I grew up in the fifties, I lived some of this...the women in hats and overcoats, men in fedoras, all the smoking, everywhere, even in theaters...it was endless. Also, the English setting was helpful, showing a dreary, postwar Britain that nevertheless gradually warmed to Laurel and Hardy.
The film was a BBC production, and they're dying to put minorities in whenever they could, but it's still an overwhelmingly white film, and also note how the English have an interest in this great team...America wouldn't even consider a film anymore. Very enjoyable.