Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Apartment (1960)

Film: The Apartment (86/250) 
Critics Poll: 127th 
Directors Poll: 44th 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

This one gets viewed pretty regularly at our house. There's nothing wrong with this film; great cast, great writing, great chemistry between the leads, and it has real heart. The nice thing about revisiting a film like this is that it lets you really appreciate individual scenes. My favorite is a scene where C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is showing off to Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). He's showing off his office, he's showing off his new hat. She's standing there distracted, discouraged, and he doesn't seem to notice. She gives him her mirror so he can look at his hat, and he sees a crack down the middle, the same cracked mirror he found in his apartment that he loans out to coworkers for their affairs. He puts two and two together, and looks at her, pointing out that her mirror is broken. She replies "I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel." There is so much in this scene. These characters are floating in space, looking desperately for something to grab on to. They're broken, but they're not completely out of it yet. The film tenderly handles the subject of loneliness and hopelessness, but in a way that doesn't feel oppressive or too heavy. There's an optimism in these characters, and of course, a happy ending. Definitely one to revisit time and time again. 

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