Closing Night Gala

Stan & Ollie

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly give delightfully bang-on-target performances as comedy’s most famous double act as they enter their twilight years.

Closing Night tickets for this event at Cineworld are not available to purchase.

Tickets for the Closing Night Gala screening on Sun 21 Oct 19:45 at Embankment Garden Cinema are subject to a BFI Members’ ballot to ensure the fairest allocation of tickets. The ballot is now closed.

Dir Jon S Baird
Prod Faye Ward
Scr Jeff Pope
With Steve Coogan, John C Reilly, Nina Arianda, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston
UK Distribution Entertainment One

In 1953, several years after their last film and with their immense celebrity on the wane, Stan ‘Laurel’ and Ollie ‘Hardy’ embark on a gig tour of British seaside towns and music halls. Surprised by the modesty of the bookings and cramped little guesthouses, the tour starts off subdued. They struggle for audiences and their booking agent seems disinterested. But a series of TV guest spots and celebrity appearances soon rekindle the country’s interest in their genius and the buzz grows as they head towards a big London finale. As the attention builds, so too do old resentments, coming to a head as they’re joined by ‘the wives’, Lucille and Ida (Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda, a hilarious double act in their own right).

Coogan and Reilly fans know their brilliance as physical comedians, but to watch them here is a revelation; they nail body language, mannerisms and also routines the duo would have known in their sleep after decades performing together. Craft is sublime throughout, crystallised in an audacious opening with each department dazzling in a six-minute tracking sequence captured by Laurie Rose’s camera team. Director Jon S Baird (Filth), screenwriter Jeff Pope (Philomena) and producer Faye Ward (who also screens Festival Gala Wild Rose in the LFF) offer a poignant study of lifelong male friendship and a fitting tribute to two of cinema’s comedy giants; it’s our great pleasure to close the Festival with this World Premiere of Stan & Ollie.

Tricia Tuttle

Additional information

How to book

This year we are delighted to be closing the Festival across two venues, Cineworld Leicester Square and our purpose built state-of-the-art cinema Embankment Garden Cinema. There will be an extended intro at both venues, with director Jon S Baird and members of the cast expected to attend. Closing Night tickets to Embankment Garden Cinema are available for BFI Patrons to purchase and subject to a BFI Champion and BFI Member ballot - the ballot is now closed. Closing Night tickets to Cineworld are not available to buy.

Unsold tickets to the Embankment Garden Cinema screening will be released for general sale on Thu 27 Sep. For more details on tickets and how to buy them, visit our tickets page.

If you book tickets to the screening at Curzon Mayfair and are subsequently successful in the Gala ballot then you will be able to return your ticket for a refund by contacting the Box Office on 020 7928 3232 (10.00-20:30 from 4 September). This is the only exception to the London Film Festival blanket ‘no refunds and no exchanges’ policy.

The screenings on Sunday 21 Oct at Embankment Garden Cinema and Cineworld Leicester Square have an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue.