13th September 2019
Doors open: 7.30pm
Booking: E-mail WareArtsFilm@gmail.com
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Ware Arts Review
When one thinks of comedy legends, Stan Laurel and Oliver
Hardy are definitely on the list. This duo began their career in the
late 1920s and went on to become not only 2 of the best-known
comedians, but two of the best-known celebrities in the world. In a
word, they are iconic.
This film takes place after they have already conquered the world of
comedy but are now facing an uncertain future with their dwindling
popularity. It's the 1950s and the pair are both struggling with
financial issues, as well as what we all face - the complications
of aging. They are given a chance to revive their career and
though, at first, it seems like it's not going to happen, they
eventually regain their popularity with a show they take on the
road throughout Britain. While they are hoping that their renewed following will help aid them in getting their "Robin Hood" project put together, it actually threatens to destroy their relationship instead.
Upon first seeing Coogan and Reilly on the screen, you instantly see the physical resemblance to the real Laurel and Hardy which helps the viewer to believe what they are watching. However, it doesn't stop there. Both actors managed to capture the very essence of each man and give a glimpse of not only the performance lives of the pair but also their personal lives. In the film, we get to meet their wives - Laurel's Russian wife Ida (Nina Arianda; Midnight in Paris) and Hardy's small-in-stature wife Lucille (Shirley Henderson; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). While the wives aren't exactly best friends, they are each supportive of their husbands and their dreams.
Another key role in this film was that of director Jon S. Baird (Vinyl). He brought everything together in this film to create a touching look at this duo, showing them as real men, not just their silly stage act. There is painstaking attention to detail in this film that transports you back to this time and into these lives.
Overall, this is a heartwarming film that takes you back into a time that no longer exists; yet, you can relate with the all too familiar struggles with life and relationships. It was enlightening to see how hard Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy overcame obstacles and worked to achieve their enduring success. This isn't only a film for fans of Stan and Ollie but for anyone who enjoys a good story.
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