I couldn’t possibly say everything I’d like to say about this film. In fact, when I started out setting up this post I found myself wanting to talk about so many aspects of this film I had to stop myself and pick my very favorite characters and scenes to focus on. It’s A Wonderful Life is one of my Top Ten Favorite Films of All-Time. I’ve watched it every year on Christmas Eve since I was a little girl. I’ve also watched it countless times throughout the years at other times as well. It’s a perfect film, that stands up to viewing after viewing after viewing. I just love it so much. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning none: Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Actor Jimmy Stewart, Best Director and Best Picture. It was up against The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France, The Razor’s Edge, The Yearling and winner The Best Years of Our Lives.
When I first netflixed this film I watched it three times before sending it back – twice back-to-back and then a third time the next morning. I was completely blown away with how wonderful it was, from start to finish. I know a lot of people consider Some Like It Hot to be Billy Wilder’s best film and as much as I like that one, I have to disagree and go with Sunset Blvd. It is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning three for black-and-white Art Direction, Best Writing – story and screenplay and Best Score. For Best Picture it was up against Father of the Bride, King Solomon’s Mines, Born Yesterday and lost to All About Eve. All About Eve wound up winning six Oscars in all. Another tight race that year was Best Actress, Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. was up against Bette Davis and Anne Baxter in All About Eve, but all three lost to Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. Having watched all three of those films within a few days of each other it is my belief that, although Holliday’s performance was stunning, the other three women spilt the vote so severely that Holliday won by default. I’ll say it up front, I enjoyed All About Eve, but I deeply love Sunset Blvd. and think it is by and far the greater of the two films.
Beware: there be spoilers after the cut.