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162. The Apartment – Christmas 2019/New Year’s 2020 (#113)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, a Christmas (and New Year’s) treat. Billy Wilder’s The Apartment.

As the fifties give way to the roaring sixties, C.C. Baxter finds himself slowly climbing the corporate ladder by loaning out his apartment to other executives so they can conduct illicit affairs. However, things quickly become complicated when Baxter finds himself falling for the elevator operator Fran Kubelik.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 113th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: The Apartment

The Apartment is a classic romantic comedy, and deservedly so. Reuniting director Billy Wilder with actor Jack Lemmon, it’s a wonderfully dysfunctional look at life in the big city, and the compromises the people find themselves forced into. While I think the movie probably works better as a romantic drama than as a comedy – with some outstanding moments of bleakness, including a serious suicide attempt and another false alarm towards the end – Wilder and Lemmon do an exceptional job keeping the movie just light enough that the darker elements don’t overwhelm the film. It is a piece of cinematic history, and one that holds up as well today as it ever did.

The neighbours were wondering about the racket…

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Non-Review Review: Short Cuts

Short Cuts is perhaps “the” big defining ensemble drama. Even those who haven’t seen it are familiar with Robert Altman’s epic three-hour twenty-two-character crisscrossing drama about life modern Los Angeles. It’s bold, ambitious and challenging. Personally, I prefer Altman’s skewering the studio system in The Player, there’s no denying that this big drama has its charms.

Altman casts a long shadow...

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