Slapstick comedy legends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy get their own big screen memoir in the trailer for Filth director Jon S. Baird's Stan & Ollie. The movie stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly and is scheduled to make its world premiere as the closing title at the 2018 BFI London Film Festival next month.
Scripted by Jeff Pope (who also cowrote the Oscar-nominated Philomena with Coogan), Stan & Ollie follows Laurel (Coogan) and Hardy (Reilly) as they embark upon a music hall tour across Britain and Ireland in the early 1950s. Nina Arianda (Goliath) and Shirley Henderson (the Bridget Jones movies) costar in the film as Laurel and Hardy's wives Ida Kitaeva and Lucille - a "formidable double act in their own right", as the movie's synopsis puts it. They are joined in the supporting cast here by names like Danny Huston (Wonder Woman), Rufus Jones (Camping) and Susy Kane (House of Anubis).
Laurel and Hardy's European tour ultimately served as the swan-song to their prolific career, due to the general public's declining interest in their comedy act and issues like Hardy's failing health. Nevertheless, the duo had already secured their place in film history by that point and collaborated on well over one hundred shorts and feature-length movies (of both the silent and sound variety), over the course of some three decades. You can watch the trailer for Stan & Ollie in the space below.
Stan & Ollie, as it were, is one of two Reilly vehicles that will screen at the BFI London Film Festival in a few weeks. The other movie in question is The Sisters Brothers, a quirky western that doubles as A Prophet director Jacques Audiard's english-language feature debut. Sisters Brothers was only just added to the event today and will be joined by such fall 2018 releases (and fellow awards contenders) as British filmmaker Steve McQueen's crime-thriller Widows at the festival.
While Sony Pictures Classics (which is distributing the eOne title in the U.S.) has yet to set a domestic launch day for Stan & Ollie, there's a reasonable chance the film will arrive in time to qualify for next year's Oscars. The movie certainly seems like a potential awards season contender, with Coogan and Reilly delivering solid performances that come off as poignant, touching and funny in the trailer alone (to mention nothing of the impressive makeup and prosthetics on Reilly). However, the film's reception at the London Film Festival may have the final say on that matter.
Stan & Oliver opens in UK theaters on January 11, 2019. A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.
Source: Entertainment One UK