Sponsored
Categories: Film Film

Stan & Ollie

Sponsored
Sponsored

The great paradox of biopics about comedians is that the comedy itself seldom holds up. This raises the question of what the big deal was, but Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie mostly overcomes this problem thanks to how fully Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly embody the title characters. It also helps that the picture focuses on the tail end of their career, as Stan Laurel (Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (Reilly) are on a tour of music halls in the United Kingdom in 1953. Ollie clearly isn’t long for the world, but he has faith that Stan is about to close a production deal on their dream film, while Stan has never quite forgiven Ollie for having done a movie without him nearly 15 years earlier.

What makes Stan & Ollie thoroughly modern is that while it’s unapologetically a love story between the title characters — “Babe” was everyone’s nickname for Ollie, but still has more weight coming from Stan — the film gives nearly as much screen time to their wives as to their husbands, who were no less important in their lives. And if the ending is necessarily bittersweet, Stan & Ollie opens with the most welcome trope of old-timey movie biopics: the unbroken dolly shot through a bustling studio backlot. It’s all gravy after that.

Rated PG. Opens Friday at the Clay Theater.

Sponsored
Sherilyn Connelly

Share
Published by
Sherilyn Connelly
Tags: John C. Reilly Jon S. Baird Laurel and Hardy Stan & Ollie Steve Coogan

Recent Posts

  • Eat

Flour + Water Pizzeria Masters the Art of Crust

First it was Farina, then Farina Pizza. The two halves of a once-pretty-OK, Italian-centric restaurant group on 18th Street closed…

3 days ago
  • News
  • Top Stories

Fatal Hit-and-Run Closes Market Street at Fifth, in Both Directions

If you're heading Downtown from elsewhere in San Francisco this morning, prepare yourself for a long commute. A truck driver…

3 days ago
  • News

Nia Wilson’s Alleged Killer Found Fit to Stand Trial

The man charged with fatally stabbing 18-year-old Nia Wilson is fit to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday. An Alameda…

3 days ago
  • News
  • Top Stories

Who Gets to Grow in the Bayview?

When it comes to the Bayview and cannabis, Brandon Brown favors a homegrown approach. As a co-founder of the San…

3 days ago
  • Fresh Eats

We Tried the Impossible Whopper and KFC’s Cheetos Sandwich (And You Might Have To)

Two bizarre, unconventional cuisine creations just hit our cheesy, formula fast-food chain restaurants. KFC locations all over the city are…

4 days ago
  • Music

The Drums: Dancing in the Dark

In typical cases, belting out lines like “I am scared of all the people in the world” would not prompt the…

4 days ago