orfeas’s review published on Letterboxd:
The AFI Top 100 Club
Film #16 - Sunset Boulevard
"Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"
Sunset Boulevard is a great film. I honestly don't have that much to say about it though.
This is the second film of the club I hadn't already seen, after The Searchers, and I'm really glad this club exists, because without it it would take me a lot of time to eventually watch these classics. This is much better than The Searchers, btw, but then again The Searchers is the only film of the club so far that I don't love, so whatever. I legit hate my ranking of these films, it's impossible to rank these masterpieces. But I digress.
This was also my first Billy Wilder film, and his directing is really great.
The best part of this film though are the characters. Norma Desmond is one of the best characters in cinema history, and Joe, Betty and especially Max are also brilliant. I was afraid that the romance between Joe and Betty would be underdeveloped but it really wasn't! All of the characters were just very smatly-written, and acted, which leads us to
The acting. The acting is probably the 2nd best thing about the film apart from the characters. Gloria Swanson knocks it out of the park, but the rest of the cast was also fantastic. I really enjoyed Buster Keaton's cameo.
Now, apart from the characters, the rest of the script is also brilliant. This film has some great bits of dark comedy and Wilder seems to be highly skilled in the realms of drama, romance and comedy and he really did a great job ballancing them here. The story was surprisingly really dark and they did some things I didn't expect them to. The ending is one of my favorite endings in film history and maybe one of my favorite moments in film history. It's quite disturbing.
The cinematography was fantastic!
Yeah, as I said, I don't have much to say about this. Overral it's a masterpiece that you must check out, a masterfully written and acted picture that showcases all the negative effects of the American Dream in a dark, bleak and haunting manner. The 50s were such an amazing decade for film. Definetely check this one out! Up next, Star Wars!
Most popular film I haven’t seen fom each decade