Stanley a Man of Variety (2016)

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Stanley a Man of Variety: Directed by Stephen Cookson. With Timothy Spall. A man who has been stuck in prison for far too long starts to see hallucinations.

“Itu0026#39;s probably fair now to include Timothy Spall in our current list of national treasures where actors are concerned. I had the great pleasure some years ago in attending a screening of Pierrepoint where Tim gave a talk afterwards and a small auction was arranged where he signed a DVD that I won. Stanley, A Man of Variety is a brave attempt to show off his many talents for comedy although be warned, itu0026#39;s very surreal. He has collaborated with writer and director Stephen Cookson on a series of sketches depicting a prisoner who has spent so long in his cell he starts to hallucinate various characters, all played by himself. Wisely, the film only runs about an hour and twenty minutes, as Iu0026#39;m not sure if itu0026#39;s a real attempt to create something artistic (the sort of thing Jerry Lewis used to do I remember) or whether itu0026#39;s just a vanity project. Iu0026#39;ll err on the artistic but I would have liked to give it a higher rating. The best part is trying to guess the characters heu0026#39;s playing, some I thought very good, others i missed, like Tony Hancock. The best ones are Max Wall, Max Miller, Noel Coward, George Formby, Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford, all of whom are instantly recognisable for those of us with long memories. If you are a real Spall fan and like a bit of artistic creativity on the screen, you could do worse than give this a try.”

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