NAKED (Mike Leigh, 1993)

At Cannes, Mike Leigh and David Thewlis were named best director and best actor for their ferocious contributions to the aptly titled Naked, which Leigh also wrote. (His script was skeletal; much was improvised during rehearsal.) This is Leigh’s harshest, most combustible film (although Leigh is wrong that it, or anything else he has done, […]

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Billy Wilder, 1970)

United Artists, savaging its own original purpose in being, reduced Sherlock Holmes’s four cases to two in what is, even in its mutilated form, a wonderful film: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Brilliantly written by Billy Wilder, who also beautifully directed, and Izzy Diamond, it is hilarious and, finally, very moving. Count no one […]