“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small”. A genuine timeless masterpiece: the final sequences are perhaps some the most finely gauged satire ever committed to film and all the more resonant for being so thoroughly imbued with pathos and melancholy. “They’ll love it in Pomona’ and in quite a few other places too.
While I can't honestly say this is Billy Wilder's greatest work (it relies more on narration than visual storytelling, and Swanson is ridiculously over-the-top), I find myself liking it more and more with each viewing. Wilder crafts a world rich in noir intrigue, and it's also a deliciously cynical examination of Hollywood. Even if I do find the narration overused, I admit I enjoy listening to it.
4.5 stars. It would be blinkered to argue that 'Sunset Boulevard' is the last word on Golden Hollywood, but it sure scrapes off some of that tarnish. I'd forgotten how cruel it is - but also how vampish; how delectable. It's also effectively a three-person chamber piece, which makes for a very curious kind of noir. Mesmerising and velvety.