Sunset Boulevard ★★★★½

Sunset Boulevard is Billy Wilder's eternal wisdom wrapped in a harrowing tale of Hollywood vanity and broken souls. It starts with a murder scene to grab your attention instantly, then Wilder takes you back in time to relive the captivating chain of events that lead to such tragedy.

Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, Sunset Boulevard is without a doubt a Hollywood production with unsubtle anti-Hollywood sentiment, as evidenced by the main character Norma, a has-been Hollywood star eager for a comeback. Wilder made the perfect decision of casting Gloria Swanson, whose real life experiences in some way mimicked Norma's. Norma is unhinged, dramatic, vain, but undeniably glamorous and likeable, and Swanson had all the personal charms and acting chops to pull off such a complicated and magnetic character and eternalize it on the silver screen. Her on screen partner William Holden was equally mesmerizing, perfectly capturing the mental state of a struggling hack writer who leeches on the lonely Hollywood star's blind affections and million-dollar wealth to his own profit, to the point where he couldn't break free from the web at all.

Sunset Boulevard is a melodramatic journey peppered with dark satires, scathing commentaries and quotable dialogues and monologues that's going to linger in your head long after the credit rolls. It's a fictionalized drama glittering with infinite truths that's still hugely reflective of the dehumanizing Hollywood factories nowadays. Highly recommended.

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