2017 Blind Spot: Sunset Boulevard
What I knew going in: I knew of the iconic line "Alright Mr. DeVille, I'm ready for my close up" but that's it. Another I put in based on title alone.
Joe Gillis (William Holden) is a struggling screenwriter who has ran into recent money troubles as no one is taking his work. One day he gets a flat tire while driving, and parks his car in what he thinks is an abandoned garage. He ends up on the sprawling property of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) a former silent film actress who still believes she has legions of fans waiting for her glorious return. She decides to keep Joe on her property to re-write a script that she has been working on.
This is the 3rd Billy Wilder movie I've had in my Blind Spot lists. I have yet to be disappointed. I like that he included narration. Joe being a screenwriter, it's only fair that he also tells the story of his own life as if he were writing it down.
The acting is excellent, particularly from Swanson. Norma was so over the top and theatrical. I was completely convinced she used to be in silent films with how expressive she was. She steals the entire show, though Holden and other supporting actors Erich von Stroheim - playing Norma's Butler, Max and Nancy Olson - playing a Paramount "reader" named Betty and semi-love interest to Joe all turn in excellent work as well. I wish there had been more of Betty. I loved her from the minute she appears on screen telling her boss that the script she just read was crap.
Sunset Blvd was the perfect film to kick off my 2017 list. I hope the rest are equally as enjoyable.
Memorable Quote: "Sometimes it's interesting to see just how bad bad writing can be." - Joe Gillis (William Holden)