Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunset Boulevard - Billy Wilder

Sunset Boulevard is a fantastic movie. As usual, Roger Ebert wrote a fantastic piece reveiwing it. So, instead of writing about this movie, I will write about why this movie still attracts modern audiences and let the reader to check out Ebert's text.

Sunset Boulevard didn't win the Oscar to Best Movie for three reasons. First, it was competing against All about Eve, one of the best movies ever. Second, it was a critique of Hollywood, and Hollywood doesn't like being criticized. Finally, it was too flamboyant for its age. This last point is why Sunset Boulevard keeps fascinating audiences until today. For one thing, our World is more flamboyant and extravagant than 50 it was years ago; today, audiences are not surprised by an old woman paying for the company of a boy toy: in fact, there are a couple of reality shows about that. The fear of being old and forgotten, the main story of Sunset Boulevard, is not exclusive of actors and artists anymore, and has permeated across all social layers, and Facebook is a testimony of that.

Media today love to forget artists just to remember them 30 years later when they are old, poor, and creepy; just think about Macualay Culkin, whose raise and fall is very similar to Norma Desmond's. The explosion of botox and aesthetic plastic surgery are just the modern version of the tortures Norma Desmond went through when she tried to come back. Last, Sunset Boulevard is a movie about thieves, people without sense of honor. That bodes really well with current tastes.

Sunset Boulevard is a must-see movie, probably more today than it was in the 1950's. Audiences would benefit greatly from understanding this line of dialogue: "there's nothing tragic with being 50, unless you preted to be 25".

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