Andrew Ferguson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Gonna try watch a lot more classic movies this year as this is an area I know I’m lacking in, and what better place to start than with this masterpiece.
A smart, intriguing, enigmatic noir movie that had me invested right from the start. The use of narration is maybe some of the best I’ve seen as it just fitted the tone of the film so well and never overstayed its welcome. Every twist and change of direction kept the plot interesting but always served to propel the characters forward or reveal more depth and nuance to them.
It would be remiss of me to review this film without mentioning one of the all time great movie performances from Gloria Swanson here. She was simply captivating as Norma Desmond. Haunting, sympathetic and terrifying all at once she brings so much to this role through her eyes alone. A stunning portrait of ageing and the impact that stardom has on those who grow past the public adoration they so crave. The rest of the cast were fantastic too, particularly Eric Von Stroheim as Max, who’s motivation and backstory slowly give him more depth and humanity as the story goes on, but it’s Swanson’s tortured performance that rightly steals the show here.