Continuing our end of year celebration I’m looking back over some of my favourite film scenes from 2019. This has been a fantastic year for film overall, and that made it really hard to pick 10 individual moments within them. But here we are with my 10 favourite film scenes from 2019. SPOILERS ahead.
10) Aladdin (Friend Like Me) – I’m a big fan of the Aladdin remake, and honestly that is probably because I’ve never loved the original Aladdin. Guy Ritchie’s work with the musical numbers was a little hit and miss, but with ‘Friend Like Me’ he absolutely knocked it out of the park. I love what Will Smith did with the music for this song reinventing it in his typical hip hop style and it worked perfectly. Ritchie made the spectacle of this song work fantastically in live action, and made one of my favourite moments of the year.
9) Us (Final Confrontation) – Jordan Peele really is a genius when I come to original horror movies, and his sophomore film Us was another great example. In Us it was his directorial flair that really shone, and in the final confrontation between Lupita Nyong’o’s two characters Adelaide and Red that’s on full display. Intercutting the knife fight with balletic performances from young Adelaide and Red all whilst set to a twisted instrumental version of ‘I Got 5 on It’. If Get Out was the announcement of Peele, then Us proved he wasn’t just a one trick pony, but a genuine talent whose next project should really excite film fans everywhere.
8) Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Manson Family Attempted Murders) – Once Upon A Time was a big surprise for me. This was a Tarantino film focused on a friendship, and their story as they reached the tail end of their careers. None of Tarantino’s usual over the top violence. That is until we reach the night of the Manson Murders. In an alternative history we instead see the three followers of Manson who murdered Sharon Tate attack Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth in their neighbouring home. What followed is classic Tarantino. Bloody, insane, and rightly directed. There are moments that make you wince in the audience, and then someone breaks out the flamethrower. It’s fantastic.
7) How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (The Hidden World) – The How To Train Your Dragon franchise has been built in beautiful moments, and nowhere was that more true in the final instalment than the first time we were introduced to the hidden dragon world. In one of the most beautiful pieces of animation watching the characters fly through the hidden world set to John Powell’s incredible musical score. The use of colours as we travel through the kingdom are stunning and we get to see numerous different areas, each one feeling unique and rich. It’s absolutely beautiful.
6) Booksmart (The Argument) – Booksmart was brilliant, and Olivia Wilde’s exceptional direction was wholly unexpected, but a delightful surprise. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the pivotal scene of the film where best friends Amy and Molly argue with one another. This was the moment where both characters had to confront their flaws, and lost it. The performances of Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are exceptional and powerful. This was such an emotional and rich moment in a wonderful film.
5) Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Final Scene) – I adored Portrait of a Lady on Fire, it is a beautiful tale of love that was stunningly directed and acted. It is hard to pick a single scene out as every moment we spend with Marianne and Héloïse is magical. But the final scene of the film which depicts the final time Marianne ever sees Héloïse was really something special. Tying back into an earlier scene where Marianne plays music for Héloïse the final shot as Héloïse sees the same song played professionally is spectacular. The wordless performance from Adèle Haenel is incredible. This film is an absolute must see, and the final scene is perfection.
4) John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum: Knife Fight – The action sequences and stunt work done in the John Wick films has always been exceptional, and I think my favourite scene from the new film has to be the early fight he has in the Antique store where Wick trades throwing knives with a number of assassins. The fight is brutal, real and wonderfully shot by director Chad Stahelski, who never fails to impress me with his directorial work, particularly in the action scenes.
3) Knives Out (The Will Reading) – Knives Out is a work of genius. Brilliant, clever, and fun. And nowhere is that final point more exemplified than the reading of the will. The outrage of the Thrombey family as Harlan’s final will is revealed perfectly exemplifies their entitlement and privilege, and the performances of Chris Evans as the gleeful Ransom and Daniel Craig as the private detective Benoit Blanc trying to keep a semblance of control are both hilarious. Truly this scene is a perfect summary of what makes this film so brilliant.
2) Marriage Story: Screaming Match – This is something that has been going around on social media in the last few weeks after the film has come out, and there’s been a lot of criticism with this single scene out of context. Watching Marriage Story you’ll see that the two main characters, Charlie and Nicole, have been holding in this big argument for the entire film and attempting to be civil, but it finally comes to breaking point here. Noah Baumbach, Scarlett Johansson, and Adam Driver completely earn this moment with the story up until that point and the subdued and restrained performances before that moment. In context this becomes a genuinely heartbreaking scene that emotionally destroyed me.
1) Avengers Endgame (Avengers Assemble) – This was an easy number one. I’ve never seen a more epic moment in a cinema before than Captain America standing alone against Thanos, before Doctor Strange’s plan come to fruition and all the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe join him in the final fight. The line of “on your left” that Cap hears from Sam before the heroes begin joining him is perfect, and this sequence never fails to move me. I haven’t managed to watch Endgame anywhere near as much as Infinity War because it is such an emotionally draining experience, and even now I can’t get past this point without crying. It’s exceptional, and possibly my favourite movie moment of all time.