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Mike Nichols (born Mikhail Peschkowsky in 1931) was active in theater
before debuting as a filmmaker with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), an adaptation of Edward Albee's 1962 play.
The Graduate (1967) was an epochal film.
Catch-22 (1970) was an adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel.
Carnal Knowledge (1971) is about the sexual revolution.
Day of the Dolphin (1973),
based on Robert Merle's novel "Un animal Doue de Raison" (1967),
is a fantapolitical thriller in which a zoologist realizes that dolphins are being trained for the purpose of killing someone.
The Fortune (1975) is a black comedy.
Gilda Live (1980) is a documentary about a comedy show.
Silkwood (1983) is a biopic of Karen Silkwood.
Heartburn (1986) is an adaptation of Norah Ephron's novel.
Biloxi Blues (1988)
Working Girl (1988)
Griffith e`una segretaria qualunque che, in occasione del suo trentesimo
compleanno, prova un nuovo lavoro. Ha studiato cinque anni per conseguire un
diploma, ed ora vorrebbe trovare un posto che le consenta di applicare le
nozioni che ha imparato. Invece deve adattarsi a mansioni di basso segretariato.
La sua scrivania e`situata in mezzo a mille altre in uno dei tanti piani di
uno dei tanti grattacieli di New York. La sua manager e`una donna d`affari,
affabile e moderna. Griffith convive con una carissima amica in un
appartamentino della periferia. Il suo ragazzo e`un tipico esponente della
fauna maschile di quei quartieri.
Un giorno Griffith ha un`idea brillante e va ad esporla alla manager. Questa
ne e`colpita, ma toglie subito ogni speranza alla intraprendente segretaria.
Griffith e`costretta a fare praticamente da cameriera e governante per lei.
Al tempo stesso Griffith scopre il ragazzo a letto con un`amica e lo lascia.
Toccato il fondo, giunge il colpo di fortuna: la manager si rompe una gamba
e deve passare due settimane di convalescenza in ospedale. Le telefona per
lasciarla in carica di tutto e la prega di farle alcuni favori a casa sua.
Griffith vi si reca e scopre un nastro da cui risulta chiaramente che la
manager stava per rubarle l`idea e farla passare per sua. Griffith decide
sull`istante che la sua grande chance consiste nel realizzare quell`idea
approfittando dell`assenza della perfida. Si installa pertanto nel suo ufficio
e cerca di avvicinare l`uomo con cui dovrebbe trattare l`affare (Harrison
Ford). Per puro caso
lo incontra ad un party: ubriacata da lui, finisce nel suo letto (ma soltanto
ospite per la notte) e soltanto il giorno dopo scopre che si trattava proprio
del suo uomo d`affari. Cio`nonostante i due diventano subito grandi amici
e si mettono a lavorare insieme. In breve si innamorano. Anche l`affare sembra
procedere per il meglio.
Ma la manager viene dimessa, e allora tutto precipita: Ford le rivela di essere
fidanzato proprio con la manager e questa scopre per caso tutto cio`che la
Griffith ha macchinato di nascosto. Alla riunione decisiva, in cui il boss
di Ford dovrebbe avallare il piano, la manager irrompe furibonda rivelando
che Griffith non e`altro che una segretaria e accusandola di averle rubato
l`idea ! Griffith e`costretta ad andarsene chiedendo scusa e la manager
prende il suo posto al tavolo delle trattative.
Il giorno dopo Griffith sta avviandosi all`uscita dopo il licenziamento quando
incontra all`ingresso manager, boss e amante. L`amante si schiera dalla sua
parte e rifiuta di prendere l`ascensore con gli altri. Il boss lo sta per
licenziare su due piedi quando l`astuta segretaria gli fa alcune osservazioni
che lo mettono in sospetto. Decide allora di prendere l`ascensore con i due
innamorati e durante l`ascesa sente dalla Griffith quali furono le ragioni per
proporre l`affare. Uscito dall`ascensore chiede alla manager quali furono
queste ragioni, e quando la manager non riesce a ricordarle, viene dimostrato
chi sia la vera ladra. Il boss offre su due piedi un lavoro di assistente
alla segretaria licenziata, che il giorno dopo si ritrova in un ufficio
L`ultima inquadratura riprende il suo ufficio dall`esterno, e, allargandosi,
fa vedere che si tratta soltanto di uno di milioni di uffici tutti uguali...
Bello spaccato di vita quotidiana di una ragazza come tante, delle sue intime
ambizioni, della sua vita sentimentale. L`analogo della sophisticated comedy
per l`era degli yuppies: Griffith e`una Hepburn meno petulante e piu'
malinconica, ma altrettanto intrigante e decisa a fare di testa sua;
Ford e`un Grant meno ingenuo, ma altrettanto vittima degli eventi.
Karen Silkwood blows the whistle on hazards and a cover-up at the
Oklahoma nuclear plant where she works
Postcards From the Edge (1990) is an adaptation of Carrie Fisher's novel.
Gene Hackman is a director who is making a movie and knows that his main
actress, Suzanne (Meryl Streep), is a drug addict.
He warns her not to mess up his film.
Suzanne has lost control: one morning the man she slept with finds her
unconscious and drops her off at the hospital. Suzanne is sent to
As a psychologist asks her what is the problem that caused her dependency
on drugs, her mother (Shirley MacLaine) shows up.
She is an even more famous actress and she has her own problem: alcohol.
In order to avoid problems with the law, Suzanne must live with one of her
parents and the obvious choice is precisely her mom.
The problem is that her mom consistently steals the show. On the set, Suzanne
overhears people gossiping about her addiction and about her mother's being
so much better.
On top of this, an old friend, Jack, seduces her and she then finds out that
the very same day he cheated on her with another actress.
Suzanne, fed up with her mother, tells her that she's an alcoholic and her
mother denies it. But hours later her mother is arrested for causing a car
accident while driving under the influence.
Mother and daughter finally find a balance and the daughter starts a new
career as a singer.
Regarding Henry (1991)
The Remains of the Day (1993) is an adaptation of
Kazuo Ishiguro's 1989 novel.
The Wolf (1994) offers a mellow, harmless hybrid of comedy, horror and
romance that occasionally borders on bad taste and self-parody.
On a full-moon night, Will hits something while driving in the woods and is
bitten by what appears to be a wolf. Nobody believes his story because there
are no wolves in that area. At work, in a publishing house, Will gets demoted
and loses his chief editor job to his unloyal protege`, Stewart.
Will bumps into the daughter of his billionaire boss, Laura, a cynical and
troubled single woman who seems to show an interest for him.
Will realizes that his senses are improving: he can see, smell and hear
better than ever, and better than human. His sexual appetite is equally
When he finds Stewart in bed with his (stupid and vain) wife, Will bites him.
The young, attractive and charming Stewart has always betrayed him while
pretending to be loyal. Instead, he stole his job and his wife.
Will decides to fight back, both the billionaire and Stewart.
Will resigns at the villa of the billionaire and causes an accident
to Laura when his presence scares the horse she is riding. Laura realizes
that animals are afraid of him.
Laura also hates her father and therefore likes Will. She even invites him
Will learns that Laura's brother killed himself because of schizophrenia,
and Will tells Laura about the wolf.
At night at the villa he turns into a wolf, runs into the woods and kills a
At work, he wins back his job and humiliates Stewart.
Will visits an expert on werewolves and the expert gives him an amulet. He is
actually dying and begs Will to bite him so he can live as a wolf.
Laura is mad at him for disappearing, but accepts an invitation to dinner.
Will, again a wolf, roams the zoo, is chased by the police, bites the finger
off a gangster who threatens him.
During the day, Will does not remember what he has done at night, but when
he finds a finger in the pocket of his coat he can guess.
Now that her beau has lost his job, Will's wife begs to be forgiven (in vain).
Will, turning into a wolf again, does not want to see Laura who came for dinner,
but Laura insists and he lets her in. Will tells her the truth, she tells him
of her troubled youth (delinquent, drug addict), they make love
and then Will escapes again in the park.
The following morning the police shows up with the news that his wife has
been murdered in the park in a vicious way.
Will feels guilty. Stewart sees his chance: if Will is found guilty, Stewart
gets his job back. Stewart therefore tells the police about Will's strange
behavior and his motive for hating the woman. Laura is Will's alibi, but when
she finds mud on Will's shoes, she is ready to help the police.
At the last minute, though, she has second thoughts and hides Will in the villa,
where the guards have found the deer mauled by Will.
Laura now has no doubts that Will is a wolf, but love prevails and she locks
him in the stable.
Stewart himself is turning into a wolf (so he could be the one who killed
the woman) and is full of hate for Will.
He drives to the villa like a madman, crashes into the gate, kills two
guards and attacks Laura.
Will is in the cage and can't help her, but Laura manages to outsmart Stewart
by herself. Will throws away the amulet, turns into a wolf, jumps out of the
cage and fights with Stewart. Laura shoots Stewart.
By the time the police shows up, Will has disappeared in the woods and Laura
pretends she doesn't know anything.
The last surprise is that Laura can smell the breath of the police officer...
she has the senses and the eyes of a wolf. Maybe she is the very wolf who
bit Will at the beginning...
The Birdcage (1996) is a remake of
La Cage aux Folles (1978).
Primary Colors (1998), from the Joe Klein's novel, is a political
farce in which Americans recognized the story of president Clinton, but it is
terribly long, slow, melodramatic and predictable.
Jack is a presidential candidate at the beginning of his campaign.
His human, laid-back manners are his best assett.
Jack's ambitious wife, Susan, is his number one advisor.
Henry is a young, devoted, idealistic black, grandson of a legendary
civil-rights leader, who believes in Jack.
He is the moral conscience of the story.
A friend tries to open Henry's eyes: she finds out that Jack was manipulative
and has several skeletons in the closet.
Campaign strategist Richard and campaign adviser Daisy would panick, but Susan
hires Libby, an aggressive and intelligent lesbian, who knows all of Jack's
dirty secrets and treats him like a naughty boy.
The campaign becomes mainly a series of plans to remedy the
damaging revelations from his past, mostly about sexual escapades.
They leave it to Libby to fix the problems. Jack did have a relationship
with Susan's hairdresser, but the tape that would prove it is a fake, and
Libby forces the author of the fake (at gunpoint) to write a confession.
The uncle yarn will turn out to be pure invention.
Henry is informed that a teenager is pregnant and claims that Jack is the
father. Henry has to travel to meet the father and bribe him to hide the fact.
On the way back, Henry throws up.
He is getting more and more involved in Jack's lies. But Jack is convincing:
no matter his shortcomings as a man, his feelings and his vision sound real.
Jack's main opponent suffers a heart attack, but he is replaced by a popular
politician who rapidly erodes Jack's lead in the polls.
Libby finds out a story of sex, drugs and corruption that would sink Jack's
opponent. But both Libby and Henry are opposed to use it:
Jack has pledged not to play dirty.
Libby commits suicide and Jack does what is right: delivers the documents
to his opponent. Henry is ready to resign but Jack opens his heart to him,
and one more time Henry believes that he is sincere in his desire to do
what is good for the people.
What Planet Are You From (2000) is a mediocre sci-fi movie.
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
What Planet Are You From (2000) is a minor comedy.
Closer (2004) is an adaptation of Patrick Marber's play.