According to Deadline, we have our first sale of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and it could shake up the Oscars in a big way. Sony Pictures Classics made a move today to acquire “Stan & Ollie” from director Jon S. Baird. The story follows the iconic duo Laurel and Hardy, two of vaudeville’s and early cinema’s greatest comedy stars as they travel across post-World War II Brittain. In “Stan & Ollie,” Steve Coogan plays Stan while John C. Reilly plays Ollie.
While the title may not jump off the screen for some viewers, Sony Pictures Classics may have several categories to push for. Based solely on production stills, makeup should be first to mind. Mark Coulier, a two-time Oscar winner for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Iron Lady” heads the makeup department. This seems like a good bet for Sony to mount a campaign.
Again, Reilly and Coogan could each potentially find room in the race. The money is likely on Reilly, who may already have a horse in the race. His performance is said to be among his career best in “The Sisters Brothers,” yet the movie received mixed reactions. If “Stan & Ollie” ends up picking up traction, then Reilly might be able to coalesce support behind this film.
Another category to keep in mind for “Stan & Ollie” should be original screenplay. Right now, the category looks thin, with Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” and John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” making waves. As other films continue to flounder in the category, even a fun-loving buddy comedy about two Hollywood legends may find room. Jeff Pope is a previous nominee for “Philomena” which also grabbed three other nominations.