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The Top 15 Film Scenes of 2017

25 Jan

15. Mirror – “I, Tonya”

14. Bandage removal – “Stronger”

13. Final scene – “Life”

12. Opening – “Good Time”

11. Opening – “Baby Driver”

10. The shootout – “Wind River”

Proves that even with his flaws as a writer, Taylor Sheridan knows how to direct the hell out of an action scene. The sheer number of people involved in this shootout is absolutely ridiculous, but it’s intense and well shot. What else can you ask for?

9. From Now On – “The Greatest Showman”

I could make an argument for most of the musical sequences in the film, but this remains my favorite. It’s not really an earned climactic moment, but climactic it is. It’s an amazing anthem with an incredible ending: a rejuvenated and inspired Hugh Jackman sprinting down the street.

8. Monologue/Visions of Gideon – “Call Me By Your Name”

Technically two separate scenes, but I group them together because of how well they flow into each other. Stuhlbarg kills the monologue, one that has a beautifully simplistic message delivered in a beautifully simplistic manner. And then, the film ends with Sufjan Stevens’ “Visions of Gideon” playing over the credits, accompanied by a plethora of emotions flickering across Elio’s face.

7. The airport – “Lady Bird”

The relationship between Lady Bird and her mom is the most crucial element of the film, and this all-star Laurie Metcalf moment near the end is heartbreaking in the best way possible. Gerwig just lets Metcalf do her thing, and what we get is an entire film’s worth of emotion bubbling to the surface during a short drive around the airport.

6. What does it make you feel? – “Columbus”

Far and away my favorite scene in the film, one that encapsulates its essence more so than any other scene. Cho asks Richardson’s character a basic but loaded question about the architecture of a building: “What does it make you feel?” And then, one of the best filmmaking decisions of the year has the sound cut out as she tries to explain those feelings. Perhaps words don’t do it justice.

5. Finger scene – “Raw”

A slow burn of a scene that gets more brilliant as it progresses. Accompanied by the incredible piece “Finger Scene”, it all builds to a crescendo as our main character decides whether or not to eat a finger. When she does…watch out.

4. The keys – “Get Out”

An exercise in tension-building that kicks off an insane final act. Allison Williams’ key reveal moment on the staircase was the first standout moment for me this year, and it remains one of the best things I’ve seen nearly a year later.

3. Kiss me, my girl – “Phantom Thread”

Oh god, what a breathtaking scene. The film comes together in a gorgeous, thrilling, twisted manner here, and the scene is so powerful because of just how long it lingers as Greenwood’s score hovers in the background. The shots of the food preparation, the eating, the “Kiss me, my girl, before I’m sick” followed by the loud and sweeping score…if this isn’t the most romantic moment of the year, then I quit.

2. I Get Overwhelmed – “A Ghost Story”

Everything about this scene is flawless. The song itself, the cross cutting between past and present, even the volume of the music. It’s a mesmerizing, brilliantly constructed scene.

1. Final scene – “The Florida Project”

A scene so short, so jarring, and yet so utterly perfect. But though it may be jarring stylistically, it’s very much in line with the themes of the film, injecting a bit of hope into a crushingly sad–and even ironic–situation. Disney World doesn’t magically cause their problems to disappear, but just for that brief, fleeting second, childhood innocence and wonder can provide an all too short respite from the harsh realities of the “real world”. Those moments are few and far between in life, but when they exist, there’s a certain type of bliss that has you wondering: “Why can’t every moment be like this?” There’s no better question to get you to look around at all the other moments, all the other people, and all the other worlds that may be within reaching distance. So reach out, grab a hand, and run.

Honorable Mentions: The grapefruit (“Girls Trip”), Romeo and Juliet (“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”), Throne room (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), Musical/whenever Shannon goes crazy (“The Shape of Water”), Reunion (“Your Name”), Bud Cooper’s visit (“Suburbicon”), Kitchen monologue (“Princess Cyd”), Remember Me (“Coco”), Take Me Home, Country Roads (“Logan Lucky”)

Others Considered: Final scene (“Brawl in Cell Block 99”), Whip My Hair (“Nocturama”), The explosion (“In the Fade”), Final scene (“The Blackcoat’s Daughter”), The killing (“Killing of a Sacred Deer”), Final scene (“War for the Planet of the Apes”), Final scene (“Dunkirk”), Pool scene (“The Layover”), Poisoned mushrooms (“Lady Macbeth”), Sex scene/fist fight (“Blade Runner 2049”), Stairway fight scene (“Atomic Blonde”), No man’s land (“Wonder Woman”), Runaway (“Song to Song”)

Photo credits: Sony Pictures Classics, Acacia Entertainment, Universal, Wild Bunch, Focus Features

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4 Responses to “The Top 15 Film Scenes of 2017”

  1. Keith January 28, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    Some GREAT choices. LOVE that you mentioned scenes like Bandage Removal from “Stronger”, I Get Overwhelmed from “A Ghost Story” and What does it make you feel from “Columbus”. Great scenes from movies that didn’t get the attention they deserved.

    Funny you mentioned The Keys from “Get Out”. It may have been my most frustrating scene of the year. There is so much potential and it is a key reveal, but Peele completely tipped his hand and spoiled the mystery in the scene before it. For me knowing the outcome of the keys scene stripped it of any intensity or intrigue.

    • polarbears16 January 29, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

      Fair enough on the keys, that makes a lot of sense. The moment itself was really well done, especially by Williams, but you’re right that it was spoiled beforehand.

  2. Ricardo January 28, 2018 at 12:53 pm #

    More memorable than the shooout itself, was the showdown and the flashback leading to it. So incredibly intense, my goodness.

  3. MovieManJackson January 31, 2018 at 12:34 pm #

    Really diverse list. I might remember scenes more from 2017 than the actual movies they were in.

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