Well hello there silent comedy fans!
Today the Bafta-nominated Stan & Ollie is released in cinemas, and I highly recommend it. Starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly as Stan and Babe respectively, this bittersweet movie tells a tale of the boys’ final tour in Britain. I found it to be a remarkably poignant film about their friendship and also, especially thanks to Coogan’s fine impersonation of Laurel, an accomplished evocation of the duo’s comedy magic. Watch out for Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda stealing the show as the duo’s bickering wives, too. Yes, it’s not always strictly, strictly true to the history, but the changes made have a clear dramatic purpose, and I think what it captures of their relationship is very special, so I hope you enjoy it.
In celebration of the film’s release, here are some links you may enjoy:
- I reviewed the film here, on Silent London during the London Film Festival.
- I also wrote a more detailed review in the current double-size issue of Sight & Sound – what do you mean you haven’t picked it up yet? You can read my review online here.
- Here’s a lovely piece in the Irish Times about the boys’ relationship and their latter years.
- Stan & Ollie is all very well, but have you seen Neil Brand’s beautiful BBC film Stan? It’s excellent, and released on DVD this week.
- I guested on the Drugstore Culture vodcast this week to chat about the film, and the duo themselves. I really enjoyed this chat, but please bear with me, I am no expert on Laurel and Hardy*.
- If you’re not a silent comedy fan, I also very much recommend Colette, also out today, and starring Keira Knightley and Dominic West. As many others have said, Colette was such a fascinating figure that you might hope for more from this biopic, but as it stands it is a thoughtful, and gorgeously designed movie, with a very strong lead performance from Knightley. If you don’t know about Colette’s connection with silent cinema, start here.
- Here’s the Stan & Ollie trailer:
* If you watch to the end of this, you’ll hear me plugging something exciting that I will be posting on the site later today. Intrigued?
- Stan & Ollie is out now.
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