The Apartment ★★★★★

The Apartment was Billy Wilder's last great film. Though flashes of genius can be found in his later work, none of them ever approached the greatness his first 16 years. What a streak! Beginning with 1944's Noir classic Double Indemnity, he was able to effortlessly bounce back and forth between pitch-black films like Ace in the Hole and lighter fare a la Some Like It Hot. And with its delicate swings from hilarity to pathos, The Apartment serves as the perfect integration of Wilder's two worlds. The perfect mixture of sweet and sour. It's almost as if this film is what he was building up to his entire career. Few films can get away with having a character as broad as Mr. Dobisch exist alongside one as coldly apathetic as Mr. Sheldrake, but this film can. So what if he was never able to hit such a high point again? Nobody's perfect! The man directed at least seven masterpieces (Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Ace in the Hole, Stalag 17, Sabrina, Some Like It Hot and The Apartment) AND wrote Ninotchka. Now shut up and deal!

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