Ethan Thomas’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review comes a bit late, the other day I decided to do a Billy Wilder double-feature. These two films consisted of both Double Indemnity, and this movie. Prior to this, I had only seen Sunset Boulevard which I can possibly imagine to be one of my favourite movies? Regardless, this is a masterpiece, just plain and simple.
The Apartment seems to have one of the most confident and realistic screenplays I think I have ever seen, because it is able to combine all of these different characters, messages and so much more into a very effective comedy...That does have its fair share of drama.
Conflicting tones has never really been a pet-peave of mine; if a film carriers a lot of tones and themes that don't work well together, it can easily come across as lazy, pointless or aimless, but when I see an instance where two or more genres are put together in a well done way that doesn't seem messy or sloppy, it truly is something to look up to in story-telling.
The Apartment is able to incorporate a laugh-out-loud approach, while also delivering on some of the most shocking and saddening scenes a person can view (in the matter of a few minutes). Plus, the way that they can seamlessly create tension or some sort of conflict and eventually make it pay off in such a rewarding way. An example can be seen with the make-up mirror. I won't go into much detail but that moment made my heart sink to the ground.
The film is also very well acted,Jack Lemmon gives one of my new favourite performances...EVER. It's the way in which he is able to put in all of these subtle techniques into his already uplifted and energetic characters that makes every scene all the more impactful. This can be seen in any scene where he hears or learns a new bit of information about his female crush (in particular). You can tell that every single movement of his is intentional and certainly goes into emphasizing the character (whether that be with the subtle way he moves his eyes, eyebrows, mouth...Everything).
I really loved this and I cannot wait to see it again, because this truly is a cinematic masterpiece that I don't think gets enough attention (while it certainly gets critical acclaim). One more thing too, the direction, the lighting, and the set design are so meticulous in how it goes into building this world in such an effective way.