Here’s a top ten list of best film moments (from the last 5 years or so):
10. The Hours – Julianne Moore’s moment as disatisfied housewife Laura Brown, sitting in the bathroom as her husband beckons her to bed.
9. The Crucible – John Proctor (Daniel Day Lewis) embraces his execution, the first clear moral decision he’s ever made in his life, as love for his wife awakens for the first time in his marriage.
8. Punch Drunk Love.
Barry Egan (Adam Sandler): I didn’t do anything. I’m a nice man, I mind my own business. So you tell me that’s that before I beat the hell from you. I have so much strength in me, you have no idea. I have a love in my life, it makes me stronger than anything you can imagine. I’d say that’s that matress man.
7. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Aragorn is crowned king. The release of white flowers took my breath away.
6. Casino Royale -. James consoles Vesper Lynn after she’s witnessed a grusome murder and feels like she has blood on her hands.
5. Rocky Balboa. Rocky passionately tells his son that the measure of a man is how not how hard he can hit, but how many punches he can take.
Rocky:The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very rough, mean place… and no matter how tough you think you are, it’ll always bring you to your knees and keep you there, permanently… if you let it. You or nobody ain’t never gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit… it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward. If you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit.
4. Everything is Illuminated. Our connection and dependence on our ancestors is revealed so powerfully in the following scene as Jonathan (Elijah Woods) pieces together some of his family’s history.
Lista: I didn’t understand why my sister hid her wedding ring in a jar… and why she said to me, “In case.” In case what?
Alex: In case she was killed.
Lista: Yes, and then what? Why did she bury it?
Alex: I do not know.
Lista: Ask him.
Alex: She wants to know why Augustine buried her wedding ring…when she thought she would be killed.
Jonathan: So there’d be proof that she existed?
Alex: To remember her.
Lista: No. I don’t think so. In case… In case someone should come searching one day.
Alex: So they would have something to find.
Lista: No, it does not exist for you. You exist for it. ou have come because it exists.
Alex: She says the ring is not here because of us. We are here because of the ring.
3. Children of Men. Two scenes in Cuaron’s film deserve major attention – complicated action shots with no cuts. Cinematic genius!
2. The Best of Youth. I’ve never been so rattled and impacted (except for the scenes below) by a scene in a film. Matteo’s jump followed by his mother’s subsequent breakdown put me through the gauntlet.
1. The Passion of the Christ. When I watched this film, I was in Malaysia where the government had banned it until a surprise screening was allowed in Penang, though Muslims were forbidden from seeing it. The scenes with Mary enabled me to imagine and understand the human story of the Passion in a new way.
Mary’s encounter with Christ on the Via Delarosa who says, “See, I make all things new” both ruined and inspired me.
The Pieta scene at the film’s end is perhaps the most beautiful scene I have ever seen (or ever will see) on film.