Sunset Boulevard ★★★★½

From the moment that Joe Gillis walked onto the grounds of Norma Desmond's overgrown, long-forgotten mansion, I knew I was going to enjoy this film. The house is captured as this creepy, haunted wreck, that also carries with it the sadness of its occupant. One of the most appealing aspects of Sunset Boulevard was that there was no specific villain in the film. Instead, the environment itself - that is, the entertainment industry - is presented as a ubiquitous and harmful place where characters like Norma can find themselves trapped. Much like the life of great athletes, the idea of what happens once entertainers have outgrown or overstayed their place is one that permeates the film. The individuals within the studio aren't portrayed as overtly villainous in any way, and are rather shown as factors acting within this harmful cycle. The place of Joe within this story as a man on the brink of entering into the same tragic spiral as Norma presents a deeply fascinating character dynamic, and one that does present an optimistic outlook on the Hollywood machine.
A worthy classic.

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