Sunset Boulevard ★★★★½

Absolutely astounding in nearly every regard! No wonder it's as iconic as it is; the script is snappy, the story is a simple-but-effective tale of melancholy and faded glory mixed with romance and fear, the look and feel of it all is so precise and rich, and holy smokes can Gloria Swanson ACT...

I only lament that William Holden's narration doesn't ALWAYS work for me. Some of the visual language of the film is SO rich that I don't think Joe explaining the themes of the film to the audience so nakedly was entirely necessary and felt too 'on-the-nose' at certain points. Then again, could simply be that it was necessary at the time, because this is SO DIFFERENT from other 1950's work I've seen...

Also; that ending. Absolute. Chills.