Sunset Boulevard ★★★★½

Oh L.A....

I had been meaning to watch Sunset Boulevard for at least 5 years but somehow it only happened now. 

Right from the start, from the very first minute Wilder's film got me hooked. The narrator tells a story, he offers us a juicy homicide, with a narrative reminiscent of American Beauty. 

But more importantly the narrator gives us a taste of Los Angeles. The place, the lifestyle, that in one way or another inspired Mulholland Dr. (Blvd. at least inspired its use of multiple titles), La La Land, Hollywoodland, L.A. Confidential and many others. Often very successfully.

This epitome of 50's Hollywood epic finds it strenght in extremely wonderful performances. Gloria Swanson is the Birdman of her era, missing the bygone days of muted glory. Even similarly to Michael Keaton, the wonderful performance may have had its roots on the rather truthful casting. 

Swanson's larger-than-life performance and her wicked character sometimes feel a tad annoying. But that must have been deliberate. She lives for the cameras, but Hollywood had moved on from that middle-aged woman - always relevant - and her overly theatrical expressions of past days. 

Furthermore, as a passionated fan of love stories between young and beautiful people, I related with William Holden's character and wanted him out of that prison, one more reason to loathe Swanson's unbearable character.

Mentioning Holden, one of my favourite actors, he is sublime yet again, possibly my favourite performance of his in the film that must be my favourite from Wilder. And I desperately need to see The Apartment.

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