The Apartment Billy Wilder

The Apartment Billy Wilder
Watching The Apartment (Billy Wilders first film after the beloved Some Like It Hot, made just one year later) is actually kind of weird. It's odd because you're watching what is easily the greatest romantic comedy ever made, one that remains utterly charming and totally relevant, yet was released in 1960. You might find that your mind starts to wander during the film, not because you're not enjoying it, or engaged, but because your brain wants to reject the idea that you haven't seen a better film about this stuff, well, ever. Admittedly ahead of its time, with its frank discussion of adultery, The Apartment casts Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter, a nice guy who just can't say no to his bosses, who use his apartment for their philandering. He nurses a crush on the elevator girl (Shirley MacLaine, who is easy to crush on in this), but, as is the way with romantic comedies, things are complicated when he discovers the man at the top (Fred MacMurray) is using his apartment to liaison with MacLaine. It's an inventive set-up, one that pays off continuously without ever being farcically; there's an incredible amount of heart to the film, led by amazing performances across the board – though the film earned six well-deserved Oscars in 1960, surprisingly Lemon and MacLaine went home empty handed. Few films can be described as perfect, but The Apartment is one of them. Of course, the same can't be said for the Blu-Ray release. While a nice enough transfer, it has the ugliest cover I've seen in a while (I'm seriously considering making a new one myself!) and largely uninteresting extras (I still can't work out who could care for historian audio commentaries) outside of a short making-of documentary. And yet it's hard not to consider this release absolutely essential, whether you've seen the film before or not. Once you've seen it, you will want to watch it again. (Fox)