First, a paean to Laurel & Hardy as the shining binary star of early Hollywood. I have fond memories going back to childhood of their short films, though they were much harder to come by on broadcast television than the ubiquitous Stooges. Laurel & Hardy were utter genius, and every time I think of them it still makes me smile.
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For Stan & Ollie to work, Coogan and Reilly had to nail Oliver Hardy & Stan Laurel. And — to the extent that it is knowable without consulting a scholar — they did. No easy task.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch Stan & Ollie, but I revisited the trailer and sensed that as well as providing insight into the legendary duo, the film would be touching — and it was, especially in the finish, which raised the film from a mostly-7 to 8/10. And I am happy to do so. I’m glad I went to the movies. It’s nice to watch a movie that makes you think and makes you feel. 2019 has set off on the right left foot. 8/10
UPDATE: Scratch that about 2019 setting off on the right left foot. Apparently Stan & Ollie is a 2018 film, which puts it in 5th place, behind Upgrade on the 2018 List. Never mind where and when it might have been released (see 2016 End Note).