Mama, welcome to the 60’s. During this decade, the Academy awarded quite a few musicals, and suspense became more and more common. The first 60’s film to win Best Picture was The Apartment, and basically all I knew going into this movie was that its director, Billy Wilder also directed The Lost Weekend. And to be honest, I can’t decide which one of Wilder’s films I liked better.
C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is the kind of guy who just can’t say no. Years ago, he offered the keys to his apartment to a colleague of his, now people won’t stop coming. He keeps letting people come in in the hopes of earning a promotion. He also has a crush on a girl named Fran (Shirley MacLaine) who works as an elevator attendant (Apparently, back in 1960, people were too lazy to push a button.) Baxter’s boss says that he will give him a promotion, but on one condition – the boss gets access to the infamous apartment.
It’s almost hard to make an objective opinion on this movie, because literally everything works. This film, along with Silver Linings Playbook is a perfect example of a dramedy. The lighthearted and comedic moments are still there, even when dramatic things are happening. The screenplay is one of the best I’ve come across so far. I absolutely love the characters, the humor, and the situations. I love the cinematography, the art direction, the editing, and the pacing. And Billy Wilder is such a masterful director. He makes you feel as if this is all real
I adore the acting, particularly from Shirley MacLaine. This is one of those movies where it’s hard to explain exactly why it works. It just does. Roger Ebert gave it four stars out of four. B+ Movie Blog says it’s one of the five best movies ever made. It’s a flawless, flawless movie. A must see.