Features Film

The Best Film Scenes of 2017

WITH 2018 on the horizon, James Prestridge of Prestridge² lists his 10 best film scenes of 2017 (based on UK release dates). You can vote for your favourite in the poll or comment section below – the results will be revealed at the end of the month.

10) Party Animals – Raw

IN a year that gave us the energetic fluidity of Baby Driver, one of 2017’s best choreographed scenes came from French director Julia Ducournau.

The scene in question throws Justine (Garance Marillier) – and us – into the sweaty heart of a wild, underground college party. We bounce from one unruly visual to another, viscerally experiencing the unbroken chaos and euphoria of partying youth.

Justine looks overwhelmed amid the mass of bodies, a visual that will be juxtaposed at a later party when Justine has undergone her ‘transformation.

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9) Priestly Advice – Jackie

‘IS this all there is?’ – That is the existential question pondered when Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) sits down for a honest conversation with a priest (John Hurt) in Pablo Larraín’s biopic.

JACKIE (2016) John Hurt, Natalie Portman CR: Bruno Calvo

This touching scene – aided by gentle acting and exquisite aesthetics – is part of Jackie’s search for meaning after her husband’s death. It tellingly ends on an optimistic image of the ex-First Lady playing on the beach with her kids. It also marks a poignant send-off for legendary actor Hurt who passed away in January.

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8) Coffee Run – Baby Driver

DIRECTOR Edgar Wright and his team dazzled us this year with the slick, fast-paced and cleverly edited style of Baby Driver.

Baby’s (Ansel Elgort) coffee run is just one of many expertly put together scenes in a film of flawless vision. Only Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2 (Baby Groot’s dancing opening in particular) can dream of rivalling Baby Driver’s upbeat, soundtrack-driven fun.

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7) Swimming Lessons – Moonlight

COUPLED with the sounds of Nicholas Britell’s signature violins, the sight of Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaching young Chiron (Alex Hibbert) to swim is truly pure cinematic moment.

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The lessons continue when the two get out of the water as Juan – the only guiding male influence in Chiron’s life – tries to give the youngster some honest life wisdom. This includes the resonate line: ‘At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be – can’t let nobody make that decision for you.’

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6) Someone in the Crowd – La La Land

THIS magical scene was the moment I realised I was falling in love with La La Land. It is an enchanting blend of Hollywood odes, bright primary colours, wonderful music, costuming, choreography and acting.

The visual of Mia (Emma Stone) walking out of the bathroom in slow-motion stands out as a spine-tingling moment.

Honourable Mentions (5 scenes that ‘nearly’ made the list)
A Muddy Monologue – Mudbound
LAURA’S (Carey Mulligan) inner monologue talks about death and the hardships of life as we watch a selection of Dee Rees’ poetic images.
Laundry Love – Baby Driver
WITH bright primary colours twirling and feet tapping, this romantic scene could have easily been plucked out of La La Land.
Tea Room Pleasures – The Love Witch
FROM the harpist to Samantha Robinson’s retro-acting, director Anna Biller shows off her admirable attention to detail and eccentric style.
Melting Ice Cream – The Florida Project
TWO youngsters try not to spill ice-cream under the watchful eye of Bobby (William Dafoe). Just one of many endearing scenes to be discovered in Sean Baker’s film.
The Twist – Get Out
Without spoiling the scene, Get Out’s twist is a brilliant pay off to the outlandish and disturbing events experienced in rest of the film.

5) Reaching Out – A Ghost Story

DANIEL Hart’s I Get Overwhelmed provides the emotional pulse of David Lowery’s mesmerising film A Ghost Story.

We first hear Hart’s song in full comes when M (Rooney Mara) is remembering the first time C (Casey Affleck) played it to her. Tenderly acted by Mara, the scene climaxes as M lays on the floor reaching behind her as the ghost of C stands just out of reach.

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Rooney-Mara-in-A-GHOST-STORY-2

4) Das Hobellied – Personal Shopper

FROM PrestridgeSquared’s Personal Shopper Review: ‘The film’s most brilliant scene arrives as Maureen (Kristen Stewart) daringly tries on one of Kyra’s (her boss) outfits.

She does this while Assayas devilishly plays Marlene Dietrich’s twinkly sounding tune Das Hobellied. Unbeknown to most non-German speaking audiences, the song – which would not feel out of place in a Disney animation – is all about death. Fittingly so, Maureen’s aura transforms, Cinderella-like, from one of vulnerability to sensual strength.

With powerful acting and directing on show, it amounts to pitch perfect mise-en-scene.’

3) Stroller Encounter – Manchester By The Sea

FEW scenes in recent memory will tear your emotions like paper as this stroller encounter between Lee (Casey Affleck) and Randi (Michelle Williams) does.

The emotional climax of a Kenneth Lonergan’s film brings two tortured souls together in the most mundane of settings for an almost impossible conversation. Beautifully and sensitively acted by Affleck and Williams, the two are deserving of acclaim for these two minutes alone.

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2) A Lovely Night – La La Land

AGAIN director Damien Chazelle delivers a pitch perfect blend of aesthetics in what will surely be remembered as La La Land’s most iconic scene. The playfulness between Mia and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) coupled with the LA twilight backdrop makes for an irresistible combination.

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la la land

1) Pie – A Ghost Story

FROM the elaborate flourishes of La La Land to the simplicity of eating a vegan pie in A Ghost Story.

Yes, David Lowery and Rooney Mara managed to make a few minutes of pie-eating utterly compelling. A gentle yet unforgettable rollercoaster of a scene.

With a long shot reminiscent of Tarkovsky, we are left to meditate on the image of M eating pie for an almost uncomfortably long amount of time. As the minutes pass, M’s wallowing sadness turns to frustration as she begins to stab at the pie and cram it down her throat.

The scene ends as she races to the toilet to puke. The void of loss has been wrongfully filled by pity, self-indulgence and aggression – just a few of the emotions felt in this masterful scene. It is time to find a healthy way to grieve and move on.

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What is your favourite scene of 2017? Vote on the poll or comment below

 

 

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