Mikey and Nicky ★★★★½

Elaine May's gritty, tense, masterpiece can be studied through a feminist lens. There's plenty to discuss about the editing choices, successes, and, failures. There's also a worthwhile discussion to be had about whether May would've been better off just remaining a writer instead of a director for this film.

All of these are worthy reactions to the film, and among the things I thought about during and after the movie. But the overwhelming sensation I had during the film was awe. I was in awe of the acting on display by Peter Falk and John Cassavetes. One scene after another, through dialog, through brief looks, through runs in wet streets; these actors took every opportunity afforded them by the script to display these characters for us the audience. For hours after the film, I found myself thinking about the relationship between Mikey and Nicky. I thought about their past, about the times together as kids, as young adults, as mobsters. That effect is directly related to the amount of life on display for these characters by two committed, talented, passionate actors. Their performances were worth the price of admission alone.