Stan & Ollie (2018)

A charming little bittersweet look at the latter years of Laurel and Hardy, more an excuse to have Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly do their takes on them more than anything else I suspect. The film’s own story, dwelling mostly in their less successful 1950s after a brief prologue of their success in the 1930s (and a little bit of timeline jiggery-pokery for dramatic effect later on) is often melancholy, though a delightfully oily John Henshaw perks things up even as he brings bad news.

Stan-Ollie-2018

The depiction of a relationship between two old friends for decades is done very nicely, as is the little pokes at how decades-old creative collaborations tend to go. The visuals are fairly pedestrian apart from some lovely shadow imagery at the end; there’s not much advantage taken of the time the film is depicting, not much in the way of emulation or homage really. Still, the film does feel a work of love on most ends. It’s not the most thrilling thing, but it’s very pleasant, without ever being cloying. Three hard-boiled eggs and some nuts.

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