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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The 2015 RyMickey Awards - Best Scene

This used to be one of my favorite categories every year because I get to highlight some pivotal moments in films that made an impact.  Maybe my mindset has changed, however.  I'm considering abandoning this one next year simply because I often feel myself watching movies in search of "scenes" as opposed to embracing the film as a whole.  On the other hand, I enjoy the notion of allowing moments from lesser-liked films to shine through, proving their worth in some way.  We'll see.  Needless to say, there were several great scenes this year that elevated their respective movies and provided powerful moments that either hit me dramatically, made me laugh, or, in a few instances from one particular film, made a grown man cry.

Note:  There will be many spoilers ahead so proceed at your own risk.

Note 2:  The YouTube videos found below worked at the time of this posting -- as is often the case, they may not work forever.

Best Scenes of 2015
(SoN = Streaming on Netflix / SoA = Streaming on Amazon / SoH = Streaming on HBO)

Honorable Mentions
(in alphabetical order)
  • Beasts of No Nation - Final Scene involving Agu admitting to his actions (SoN)
  • Black Mass - Johnny Depp's mobster Whitey Bulger goes up to Julianne Nicholson's Marianne's room and threatens to choke the wife of a police officer (SoH)
  • Brooklyn - Final Scene - perfect voice-over, but the director ends it on a still snapshot...ugh...(SoH)
  • Creed - Final Scene with Rocky walking up the famous art museum stairs with Adonis
  • Love - Threeway Orgy - I'm a guy...that's why it's here...(SoN)
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Funny Film Homages (SoH)
  • The Revenant - Bear Sequence (SoH)
  • The Revenant - Final Showdown between Leo and Tom Hardy (SoH)
  • Room - The Interview - "Why didn't you ask your captor to take your child away to save him?"(SoA)
  • Sicario - Hell House Opening Scene
  • Steve Jobs - Act Three showdown between Woz and Steve (SoH)
  • Straight Outta Compton - Opening Scene - Drug Bust (SoH)
  • Victoria - Piano Sequence - Great insight into the main character and her motivations (SoN)
And the Top 15...

#15 - The Last Five Years - Still Hurting
What a way to start a movie.  Full of grief and angst.  Certainly keys you into the fact that this isn't your typical "happy" musical. (SoN)

#14 - About Elly - Elly Goes Missing
Immediately following the scene above, Elly, the character flying the kite, goes missing (and that's the scene that lands this berth).  Did she drown?  The kids with whom she is flying the kite seem to think so and panic sets in amongst the adults who frantically begin looking for the woman in the water near the beach. (SoN)

#13 - The Keeping Room - Opening Scene
A white woman gets shot after she was apparently raped in a carriage.  A black woman who happens to stumble upon the carriage gets shot by another man who is standing behind her.  And the carnage doesn't stop there.  The horrific men who commit these acts (and a few more in the opening scene of this western) will turn up later and attempt to wreak havoc on the film's three female leads, but unfortunately the rest of the film can't live up to this tense, horrific opening moment. (SoN)

#12 - Brooklyn - Casadh an Tsúgáin
A stunningly beautiful and surprisingly powerful moment that helps Eilis reconnect with her Irish heritage while living in New York City.  Not only is Saoirse Ronan fantastic here, but the looks on the faces of the extras are just stunningly heartbreaking. (SoH)

#11 - Creed - Single-Take Boxing Match
Unable to embed, but scene can be found here
 Incredible, putting us right in the middle of the action for nearly four-and-a-half minutes.  Superb work from director Ryan Coogler and cinematographer Maryse Alberti who allow the match to unfold in real time.

The Top 10 scenes can be found by clicking that little "Read More" on the lower left...

#10 - Danny Collins - Final Scene
***SPOILER ALERT*** Sitting alongside his father Danny Collins (played by Al Pacino), Bobby Cannavale's Tom Connelly is sitting in a doctor's office awaiting news about a life-threatening ailment he is facing.  Danny turns to Tom and says, "When the doctor calls you Mr. Connelly, it's always something bad. When he calls you Tom, it's always good news.  Let's sit here and think about him calling you Tom."  A lovely ending showcasing two characters whose dislike for one another is slightly warmed by this bit of cleverly written dialog.  And then when the doctor comes in and says...well, you'll just have to watch to find out.  (SoA)

#9 - Ex Machina - A New Life...and a Death
Unable to embed, but scene can be found here
***SPOILER ALERT*** The whole movie has been building up to this - a robot attempting to live a "normal" life does whatever it takes to get one, including possibly destroying her creator. (SoA)

#8 - Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens - The Death of...You Know Who
***SPOILER ALERT***  This was just a "Holy Smokes Did That Just Happen" kind of moments.  And this is coming from someone who hadn't seen a Star Wars movie until nine months ago.  The emotional baggage that comes with the death of Han Solo was shockingly powerful even for someone who wouldn't consider himself a huge fan of the series.

#7 - The Last Five Years - Nobody Needs to Know
Trust me when I say the actual video of this adds to the intensity of the music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.  Director Richard LaGravenese utilizes lots of long takes in this incredibly revealing song where Jamie's secrets are finally exposed as he achingly realizes that his marriage is on shaky ground as he starts making "conscious deliberate mistakes." (SoN)

#6 - 45 Years - Slide Show
***SPOILER ALERT***  At the beginning of the film, the sound of a slide show projector are heard as the credits roll by.  I thought it was an odd start, but it's really utilizing this "ancient" photographic technique to foreshadow its importance later in the film when Kate (Charlotte Rampling) sits in her attic and begins to look at her husband Geoff's old slides.  Director Andrew Haigh focuses his camera not on the pictures, but on Kate's reactions to them and then finally lets the audience see what is causing her so much emotional toil.

#5 - Room - Haircut
"I love you, Grandma"
So simple, after his grandmother cuts his hair, Jack offers up four tiny words that are just so heartbreaking and heartwarming after the ordeal he's been through that it made this grown man tear up both times I've watched the film. (SoA)

#4 - Beasts of No Nation - Killing the Engineer
Unable to embed, but scene can be found here
***SPOILER ALERT*** Agu kills his first man - devastating and shot with blood splattering onto the camera, it plays like a horror film, but it's so much more emotional than that. (SoN)

#3 - The Revenant - Opening Battle
Unable to embed, but small portion of the scene can be found here and here
This movie started out so promisingly for me.  This opening battle sequence between the group of pelters and the Native Americans is fantastically shot with several really nice long takes that elevate the cinematic nature of the piece.  Add to that, the shear brutality and it's an epic start to a film that ultimately disappoints. (SoH)

#2 - Brooklyn - Dinner Table Scenes
Pick any scene in Brooklyn involving eating food sitting around a dinner table and you're in for a treat whether it be with the group of women at Mrs. Keogh's boarding house (as in the very short scene above) or Eilis's first dinner date with Tony or her meeting Tony's very Italian family or her somber scenes with her Irish sister and mother.  Frankly, I loved them all and they make the concept of "family" shine bright in this lovely film. (SoH)

#1 - Room - The Escape
Followed by this and then this
The scene really speaks for itself.  After fifty minutes of intense build-up, "the escape" from Room finally happens and director Lenny Abrahamson and his actors Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay create one of the most breathtakingly emotional cinematic moments I've seen in a long time, running the gamut from fear to joy to sadness to compassion.  Edge-of-your-seat tension followed by this palpable sense of joy -- an amazing sequence of events that holds up extraordinarily upon repeat viewings.

Previous RyMickey Award Winners
2014   ---   2013   ---   2012
2011   ---   2010   ---   2009

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