Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me?CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Directed by Marielle HellerCertificate 15☆☆☆☆
LIKE a slimmer version of the great Uncle Monty, Richard E Grant sashays his way into this marvellous film with an unquenchable thirst for substances that make him feel skewwhiff, a vocabulary of gorgeously pronounced swear words (can anyone else give the f-word such depth and richness?), and a tragic backstory that feels so much like Richard Griffiths’ seminal outing in Withnail and I that it feels like Grant is paying homage to his co-star.Throw in a knockout performance by fellow lead Melissa McCarthy, and you could have had this these two characters doing absolutely nothing but sitting in a bar and I’d pay top dollar to watch it.
Were Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy the greatest comedy duo in film history?
Childlike, unimposing Stan Laurel was a Brit, the lantern-jawed, cartoon-faced son of a theater manager and an actress, born in Lancashire in 1890 and trained in the music hall, where he honed his skills in song, dance and comedy. For a time he worked as Charlie Chaplin’s understudy, and he arrived in the United States on the same ship as Chaplin and broke into film along with him.Oliver Hardy was an oversized, unusually graceful American. Born in Georgia in 1892, Ollie studied music and broke into early film in the East before moving to Los Angeles and being teamed with Laurel by Hal Roach Studios supervising director Leo McCarey (“Duck Soup”). As they say, it was a bowler-hatted match made in comedy heaven.Stan was the sweet-souled, easily upset man-child, while Ollie was the big, angry, pompous bully, who looked oddly like an enormous baby. “Stan & Ollie,” which was directed by Jon S. Baird (“Filth”) and written by Jeff Pope, who co-wrote “Philomena” with Steve Coogan, co-stars Manchester, England-born Coogan and American John C. Reilly, who has had a great run recently and triumphs here, as Stan and Ollie. Continue reading →