We’ve been meaning to add a certified classic movie onto this list again, and this week’s pick is a movie that we feel is not as talked about in modern pop culture as it should. After all, Sunset Boulevard, directed by Billy Wilder, was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, three of which it won, is currently on the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 films at number 16, and has not 1, but 2 quotes listed on their list of top movie lines of all time, one of which is highlighted here. Surely, it’s quite deserving of being in not only in our minds but in yours as well.In our opinion, Sunset Boulevard is quite the genre bender. It has the cynical voice overs, the moral ambiguity, and even the femme archetypes of a classic noir film, the exceptionally creepy undertone running through it like any good horror movie should have, the great drama about obsolescence of old age and the film industry, all wrapped up in a love letter to the silent film era of Hollywood. If that seems a bit much, don’t worry, the film blends these so effectively well to make the movie n experience unlike any other.
I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.
But the main draw of this movie is the stellar performance of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, the faded silent film star whom the story revolves around. She is like a character out of a Steven King novel, while also being an object of abject pity. Her presence, or lack thereof, is palpable in nearly every scene of the movie, but perhaps no more so than in the final scene. It’s there, in that last scene, where all of these elements – the Swanson’s performance, the story elements of the mixed genre, and the second iconic quote of the movie – formulate around Norma Desmond for a mesmerizing finish that we can’t help but gush about.
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