Mikey and Nicky
Sunday, Feb 12 at 5:30 pm
Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Elaine May. 1976, 106 mins. Restored 4K DCP. With Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Ned Beatty, Joyce Van Patten, Carol Grace. Inspired by hoodlum characters director May encountered as a child growing up in a mob-connected Philadelphia family, this tragicomic two-hander finds Cassavetes incarnating the paranoia–addled Nicky, a turncoat with a price on his head, and Falk embodying his lifelong friend, the guiltily compassionate Mikey, who may or may not be looking out for him. Set over the course of a single, seemingly endless night crawl that somehow grows in implication to encompass both men’s lifetimes, May’s atonal masterpiece, marked by the jarring rhythmic and emotional shifts of its unpredictable lead actors, was one of the most daring commercial films of its moment. Due to the director’s costly overruns in both schedule and budget, as well as her dogged refusal to brook any compromise, Paramount ultimately gave a mangled cut of the film a token release and May herself would acquire a reputation as a “difficult” filmmaker. While Mikey and Nicky may never have had a chance at Oscar gold for any of its principal instigators, it stands as a milestone of modern American cinema that, alongside the three other films that make up May’s unjustly abbreviated career (including her previous film The Heartbreak Kid, which did receive multiple nominations) prompts us to imagine what a film industry that more readily recognized its very best talents might look like.
Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.