Sunset Boulevard ★★★★½

You’ll see a dead chimp looking like Michael Jackson’s friend here. 

Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) plays as a faded silent-movie star in what seems to be her greatest personifications that’s captured on the screen. This movie’s a hard line study of American celebrity degeneration resulting in an unhappy, delusional, aging beauty unable to come to terms with the fact that the golden era of her celebrity has been nearly forgotten by most of the general public.  

As I watch Norma’s lifestyle, it’s hard to find any meaning in her distorted lifestyle, especially with the ostentatious display of the baroque interior of her mansion. The ridiculousness of her mausoleum-like palatial home maintained by a lone butler is of less importance than the unraveling of a neurotic faded star’s downward spiral.

Swanson was brilliant. She displays her talon-like fingers with finesse, a voice presenting like a demoniac woman, her glassy-eyed stare gestures and bellow expressions that spell neurotic. Not only can she portray these dark aspects of the delusional actress, but she can also transform with absolute ease during Norma’s manic moments into a charming, alluring, warm and elegant variant of her former self. 

This darkly amusing satire is worth a watch.  I really enjoyed it. Gloria’s worthy of the Best Actress Golden Globe award here.

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