Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <email@example.com>
This week my picks are You Can Count on Me (2000 - ) and The Apartment (1960 - ).
The first film this week was a highlight during last year's
dismal selection of films. Laura Linney stars as a single
mother whose younger brother (Mark Ruffalo) crashes at her
house. Meanwhile, she has to deal with a new boss (Matthew
Broderick) who is less than understanding about her domestic
situation. These relationships develop in interesting ways,
with equally potent comedy and drama. This film was a
much-needed vindication for writer/director Ken Lonergan
who could have had his career ruined by the failure of
Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, which he also wrote
(at least I liked it). Now there is no question
that he and Academy Award
nominee Linney are formidable new talents.
The second pick has no relation to the first, but is instead a tribute to the great actor Jack Lemmon, who has died this week at the age of 76. His greatest performance was in Billy Wilder's The Apartment, another brilliant comedy-drama that also stars Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray. Lemmon plays a desk jockey at a large company who lends his bachelor apartment to various executives who use it to "entertain" their mistresses. This character is the best example of Lemmon's Everyman persona: a witty but awkward man who doesn't enjoy his situation but is too trapped by his own neuroses to do anything about it. It was also a transitional film for Lemmon, who previously made light comedies like Some Like It Hot, but would then go on to more serious fare like The Days of Wine and Roses. The film won the Best Picture Oscar, but Lemmon somehow lost to Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry. However, he won on two other occasions (for Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger), and this along with the rest of his roles have firmly cemented him in film history.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
You Can Count on Me (2000)
The Apartment (1960)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan