Monday, February 25, 2008

Best Cinematic Moment, 2007 (warning: Spoilers!)

Bowling with Eli [final scene], There Will Be Blood (144.5 points/14 votes)

(Note: I had to pull the video clips in this post from various sources online, so sadly this is the best I could manage. Also, beware of spoilers in some if not most of these)

"Many of the greatest movies (Citizen Kane and Nashville come to mind) arrive at endings that one could not have reasonably anticipated yet, in retrospect, seem completely inevitable. The exquisitely demented final reel of There Will Be Blood is a perfect example. For two-plus hours, director P.T. Anderson creates an almost unbearable tension as we anticipate a violent confrontation between oilman Daniel Plainview and faith healer Eli Sunday. When that moment arrives, it is not the cathartic moment of bloodshed we've been waiting for; when the two men meet in the wealthy, insane Plainview's bowling alley, the scene that follows casts the entire film in a darker, more baroque light. The already-classic line "I drink your milkshake!" is more than "Say hello to my little friend" for eggheads, Plainview's weirdly specific metaphor underlining the absurdity of not only these two men but the time and place they are a part of. When violence comes, it is furious but never overwrought, Anderson's meticulous attention to detail - the contrasting red and white walls (reminiscent of the Overlook's restrooms), Eli's anguished protests ("I'm your oldest friend!"), and the quick splash of dirty water on the lens building to an unforgettable final shot - finished, indeed." ~ Andrew Bemis


2. Ratatouille- Anton Ego's mid-meal flashback (96.5/9)

3. No Country for Old Men- Chigurh meets the man from Temple (90.5/8)

4. Eastern Promises- Bathhouse knife fight (76.5/8)

(warning: Rated R for violence, gore, and penises)

5. Grindhouse [Death Proof]- Ship's Mast & resulting chase (69/7)

(part 1)

(part 2)

Finally, as a bonus offering, here's my pick for the best scene of '07: the rainstorm ambush from James Gray's We Own the Night. Sadly, this only received one other vote. What is this world coming to, etc.

Click here for complete results


Scott W. Black said...

I love that scene from We Own, but the more I think about the movie itself, the more problems I have with it.


This is ridiculously un-Muriel related, but just thought I'd chime in that THE DUCHESS OF LANGAEIS, which I remember talking to Paul about during the festival-season, is on all cable OnDemand via IFC! Everybody get their Rivette fix on.

$5.99 and it's mine... three days before it's in theatres here in LA! Can't wait to watch it tomorrow. Not HD, though... ;(

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Paul: Thanks for this incredible collection. That sequence from We Own the Night is as good or better than anything in the now officially beknighted Bourne Ultimatum. Had I seen it before I voted, I would have mentioned it myself. That said, the coin toss is hard to beat.