So, John over at Hitchcock's World is hosting his first blogathon entitled 'Favorite Movie Scenes' and I was enticed into giving it a look and spending pretty much my entire morning trying to figure out what I was going to do. I'm going to be honest; I debated on making this a list of my favorite scenes from Jean-Luc Godard movies just to get at John since he apparently hates his work and I have been very vocal about Godard being cinema's grand savior and my personal favorite director.
But I decided against that.
Instead, I kind of got a little lazy with this (well, not really, but a little) and decided to stick with 2013 films. I have been indulging a lot recently in an attempt to wrap up my own personal awards (the Fistis) and so they are all very fresh on my mind. 2013 is one of the best years for film I've been able to personally witness as a film lover. Sure, there have been better years for collective greatness, but a lot of them came before I was an active movie watcher. 2013 is one of the first (maybe the first) year that I was able to witness it blossom while the rest of the world was as well. From the very beginning, it was something special, and it just never gave up.
But more about all of that later in the month when I (hopefully) get the Fistis together.
For now, I'm going to give a rundown of my Top Ten favorite film scenes from 2013!
Now, I want to be clear that this is NOT a list of my Top Ten films of the year, but just a list of my favorite scenes. I like most of these films, love a few of them and hate one of them.
I do want to mourn the loss of a few scenes that were left right outside of the Top Ten. First, Frozen does not make the final ten, even though I love the film and really wanted to include it. While the world unanimously adored the whole 'let's build an ice castle while singing Broadway show-tunes' scene, I personally fell in love with the whole 'Do You Wanna Build a Snowman' segment and wanted to include it so badly. Next, Gravity also doesn't make the list, but this is more because the whole film feels like one long scene and picking out ONE part just is impossible.
Finally, obviously the very best scene in all of 2013 cinema was the 13 minutes sex scene in Blue is the Warmest Color (I'm not joking) but I figured I would chose some more tasteful (ok, so not all of these are tasteful) scenes to discuss.
Like, how to you elaborate on that scene anyways?
So, here we go:
Here I go talking about 'tasteful' and then I pull this on you for the very first scene, but seriously...let me just explain WHY this is such a great moment. First, this movie is atrocious. Honestly, it is the worst movie of 2013, but in all that trashy awfulness there was this one shining moment of trashy greatness that basically said "we don't care how straight-laced and faux serious we are trying to be with this shitty movie, we are going to have Cameron Diaz violate a car" and she did and we saw and it was amazing. Hilarious and stupid and just WTF, but amazing none-the-less. Bardem's face, the fact that she does a split, the fact that she CUMS! I mean, you can't make this stuff up...
Oh wait, Cormac McCarthy just did!
I liked this movie. I didn't love it, but I liked it. The Great Gatsby is one of those films that is so lavish and so abrasive and so loud that you have to respect it, even if it doesn't all work. The reason I love this particular scene so much is because it kind of showed how incapable Baz Luhrmann is of real restraint. Even in the confines of a poor mistresses humble abode and her trashy, poor friends, he still had to make champagne rain from the ceilings and basically give us an indoor rave/wife swapping party (sans the wives) and it all glistened in 3D. It was, and still is, the best thing about that movie.
Stoker deserved a larger audience. While it wasn't perfect, the intensity that builds is remarkable, and no scene really proved that more than the one where meek little Mia takes a pencil to the boy who is taunting her. The whole scene is just marvelously constructed, and it lingers, because it breaks the film in two and shifts everything, giving birth to something darker, stronger, new!
I thought that I was going to hate World War Z. I honestly thought it was going to be some cheap zombie movie with no real scares and a slew of knock off jump scenes. I was wrong. This movie scared the shit out of me so many times. I literally came close (very close) to pissing myself, and it started almost immediately. When Pitt and his family are attempting to vacate that warehouse, it just all feels so real, so intense, so claustrophobic. My wife left the room. She didn't want to come back. I stopped breathing for a few minutes. I mean, THIS is how you make a zombie movie!
I've said this a few times, but I'll say it again, this scene in Captain Phillips is the single best scene of acting in all of 2013. Like, there is nothing above this in terms of pure acting moments. And this is coming from a person who finds Hanks ridiculously overrated, loathes his Oscar wins and really just...well...doesn't like him. The complete emotional collapse, the folding of character the Hanks does here is just remarkable. It starts the minute the guns are fired and he just loses his shit, but the best moment for him is the way he reacts when he's asked if the blood is his. He's confused, he's desperate, he's panicked, he's anxious and he sells every single second. I was shaking...literally SHAKING!
There are so many scenes in Her that made me smile, but none more so than the moment where Theodore gives himself completely over to Samantha for some blind fun at the fair. As a scene itself, it is beautifully composed and shot (so vivid, so fluid, so enchanting) but even more than that, it works as such a great character piece because it shows how free Theodore is while in the figurative arms of his love. Forget the bullshit, this is a pure example of pure abandon at its finest.
I've never done drugs. I've never even smoked weed. Nothing. I don't really desire to, at least not strong enough to actually do it, but I have to admit that there was this moment while watching Leonardo DiCaprio lose complete control of his physicality and practically worm his way across a parking lot that I thought to myself...this looks like fun. Mostly, I just want an excuse to molest my friends and wrestle a bit, and I guess I can do that sober or drunk (because I like to be drunk) but I don't think it's the same. I also didn't laugh this hard while watching a borderline serious movie all year.
There are so many moments in Spring Breakers that feel like inspired snapshots deserving of a list. I could have made a Top Ten on this film alone, but there is that one scene where James Franco sings a Britney Spears song that kind of trumps them all. I love how Harmony Korine basically exploited the whole of pop culture and the effect it has on today's youths by using Spears's music, and it really does make sense in a way that feels so inspired and remarkably astute. Spring break forever!
Yes, I bawled like a fucking baby when Emma Thompson started tapping her feet together and then accepted that invitation to dance. Such a beautifully moving and composed scene that felt so full of life and so revealing with regards to Travers and her development on screen. Thompson plays it so well too, completely inside this woman and bringing every ounce of her life to the fore. A beautiful ode to Mary Poppins while maintaining its own identity and appeal.
There was no competition here. For me, there was absolutely NO scene in all of 2013 that brought me as much joy as the moment in This is the End when The Backstreet Boys reunited in heaven for the performance of a lifetime! Seriously, the movie was hilarious and then it just went to this place that no other comedy I've seen in recent years has been able to touch. How can something so seemingly ridiculous be so incredibly hilarious and joyous and life giving? I can't explain. Maybe it was the 13 year-old