HotDonkeyBear’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film has been on my Watch List since before I'd even heard about Letterboxd. The term "Classic" is thrown around a fair bit when regarding a certain calibre of motion picture. I found that many of these films either don't stand the test of time or were hyped up out of proportion. It's safe to say Sunset Boulevard does NOT fall into these categories.
There's a certain irony to be found in the fact that unlike the faded leading lady and her withered existence, this movie still seems fresh. 62 years old and the humour is still relevant, the tragedy still biting and the performances uniquely perfect.
Gloria Swanson is incredible. She completely owns the role of Norma Desmond. All of the pomp, the glamour and the grandeur, suffocating in wide eyed delusion.
A delusion which is only exacerbated by her manservant played with poise and solemnity by actor/ director Erich von Stroheim.
William Holden's hapless screenwriter narrates the picture. It's through his world weary eyes that this whole unhappy tale unfolds. From debt riddled writer's block, to kept plaything, through to tragic lover, his Joe Gillis is outstanding.
I still can't get over this film. The plot is remarkable. The camerawork and lighting is innovative for the time. The performances ring out, clear as church bells.
A wonderful motion picture about the motion pictures and the cruelty of Hollywood, the ghostly has-beens.