Double feature: These two films are essentially mirror images of each other. Their plots are the same – a worldly schemer attempts a romantic con on a wealthy but naive amateur biologist; a series of witty, swanky hijinks ensue. But in “A New Leaf” the “mark” is female, whereas “The Lady Eve” reverses the gender assignment –and that makes all the difference.
Double feature: The prevailing genealogy of “Blue Jasmine” and its eponymous heroine involves “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the Madoffs, and the personality/mannerisms of a New York art gallery owner who came within Woody Allen’s ken. My personal theory involves the director (subconsciously?) crafting a take on the personality of, and everlastingly contentious end of his relationship with, Mia Farrow.
Double feature: There really aren’t that many movies featuring the Thanksgiving holiday, even tangentially. If you’re looking to branch out beyond “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Home for the Holidays,” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” consider a double feature of “The Birdcage” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
Double feature: “Footnote” and “The Story of Qui Ju” are two films that explore the concept of advocacy. Both contrast characters who can’t, or won’t, stand up for themselves with relatives who defend their interests by proxy, often against their own. The former are partially motivated by pride and practicality, the latter by a sense of justice being violated.
Double feature: Lots of films concern themselves with the “what” or “when” of action. “The Straight Story” and “The Swimmer” stand out, and link to each other, by placing their urgency on the “how.” Both center on protagonists who turn routine journeys into quests by dreaming up exquisitely particular, unconventional ways to get from point A to point B.
Double feature: There isn’t much to argue about/with the assertion that New York is a city of cultural, as well as financial, wealth. The enviably literate, well-spoken characters in “The Last Days of Disco” and “Hannah and Her Sisters” are socially and temperamentally positioned to take advantage of both. In traveling the seams where money, art, breeding, and beauty meet in various combinations, they let us vicariously do so as well.