AFIFest 2018 Presented by Audi has wound down to the end. It will be a few days before the results of the audience awards voting is known. But I’m sure the staff is pleased with this year’s festival and will soon be working on next years. I appreciate their hospitality and that they welcome me as press for the event.
Fans of Laurel and Hardy comedies will no doubt find joy in Stan & Ollie from director Jon S. Baird. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly perfectly capture the titular duo. The story focuses on a 1953 British tour as they strive to make a comeback. Laurel is working on a screenplay for a film they hope to make, and the tour (which starts off very disappointingly) is suppose to show people still want to see them. However, the strain of the tour brings out old resentment s that threaten to scuttle their working partnership and their friendship. Stan & Ollie opens in theaters at the end of the year.
Poland’s official Oscar entry is Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War (Zimna Wojna). In the years after World War II, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) assembles a group of young singers and dancers to perform traditional music. He is taken by one of the young women, Zula (Joanna Kulig) and they soon fall in love. As the years pass, the dream of freedom in the west leads Wiktor to defect. Through the years they reunite, but can’t seem to find happiness on either side of the Iron Curtain. There is marvelous black and white cinematography. Cold War is set to open in the U.S. in December.