Double feature: Swagger, casts that are an embarrassment of riches in terms of star wattage, and characters trying to tap into the power of an American dream enervated by recent history – these are some of the things that “American Hustle” and “The Misfits” have in common.
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: “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: “I’m not the enemy,” the eponymous protagonist of “Michael Clayton” tells his unravelling coworker in an attempt to distance himself from the compromising agenda of his profession. The latter, not skipping a beat, shoots back: “Then who are you?” It is this exchange – the sharpest in a film of sharp exchanges – that links “Michael Clayton” to the endearing and moving documentary “Bill Cunningham New York.”
Double feature: Here are two ravishingly beautiful, radiantly intelligent films whose beauty and brains are in large part due to their shared attention to the details of domestic life.