The main problem with this self-reflective movie with potentials to be a masterpiece is the final stage performance by Chaplin and Keaton that disappointingly is not funny at all. A marble scene that devised to arouse love and admiration for two retired legends and their innocently old-fashioned comedy that unfortunately didn't work for me. Seeing Keaton in that minor role is horrific.
Un film fort pessimiste et d'une noirceur constante qui vaut surtout pour l'inoubliable et célèbre scène finale quand les trémolos du spectateur se mettent à vibrer et que les mouchoirs sortent discrètement des poches. Un peu l'oeuvre testamentaire du grand clown qui ne réalisera plus que deux films seulement... www.cinefiches.com
David Thomson trashed Limelight for being a work of deep self-pity, and he's not wrong—by the end, Chaplin's taste for melodrama has turned his self-reflexive narrative into one of grotesquely mawkish martyrdom. But it is also an emotionally naked work, frequently offering us a sight we've not seen: Chaplin as an ordinary man, no comedy, no schtick, no makeup, no slapstick. Deeply personal, for better or worse.
In many ways, with the long flashbacks to old vaudeville routines, this movie is structured in a way that shouldn't work - but it does. There are a few shots that are held too long and would have benefited from cutting away a few seconds earlier. Buster Keaton deserved a little more prominence during the time he is present in the movie. Otherwise, a pretty near flawless rumination about the life of an entertainer.