The Best Film Scenes of 2019

9 Jan

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10. Manson Massacre, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” – The only source of actual entertainment in this film is a ridiculous, over the top flurry of violence at the end – it’s meant to rewrite history, but better just enjoyed at face value.

9. Jo’s Monologue, “Little Women” – This short outpouring of emotion is Jo in all her heartache, compassion, contradiction, and desire. It can also serve as its own mission statement for this new reimagining of the story.

8. Opening, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” – Simply beautiful, a quick snapshot of San Francisco yet also a lovingly realized ode to its people. The cinematography and score create a sense of smooth frenzy – like you’re rushing to get through everything but also breathing in everything that you can.

7. Opening Dance Sequence, “Climax” – Impressively choreographed and scored, and the perfect way to kick off this hallucinatory ride.

6. Calling Hoffa’s Wife, “The Irishman” – A quietly devastating moment played beautifully by De Niro, the camera never leaving his face as he tries to find his composure within his own grief.

5. Ramona’s Entrance, “Hustlers” – A showstopping sequence that shows us that Ramona runs this town and does it with style. Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” is the perfect music accompaniment.

4. The Fight, “Marriage Story” – Driver and Johansson give it their all in a cathartic yet ugly war of words. It has both a theatricality and a rawness to it that makes it extremely powerful.

3. This is How I Win, “Uncut Gems” – A scene that perfectly encapsulates the film’s scenes and kicks off the final act in thrilling fashion. Just an exhilarating escalation in dialogue handled perfectly by Sandler and Garnett.

2. The Party, “Parasite” – The entire film unravels in horrifying fashion here, bringing its worlds crashing together and crashing down in a meticulously crafted sequence of chaos.

1. Ending, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” – It’s a stunner of an ending, an absolute knockout that brings everything in the film into sharp perspective. It’s a perfectly searing final scene and the best of 2019.

I should also mention the final shot of “Knives Out,” which I love less as a full scene and more of as a final image. Special shoutout to the entire nighttime sequence in “1917” as well, which is a bit too long for me to consider one scene.

HM: Dinner Argument (The Farewell), Lost in the Woods (Frozen II), Opening (Queen and Slim), Catching the Helicopter (Hobbs and Shaw), Gloria (Gloria Bell), Rooftop Goodbye (Toy Story 4), Wake’s Monologue (The Lighthouse), Knife Fight (John Wick Chapter 3), Fight scene (Booksmart)

2 Responses to “The Best Film Scenes of 2019”

  1. Keith January 10, 2020 at 9:36 am #

    I definitely agree with several of your picks. For me the bathroom dance in “Joker” would have to be included. That haunting transformation really gets under my skin.

  2. MovieManJackson June 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm #

    Been a minute. Love how high the Uncut Gems scene is! Top 5 movie of last year for me.

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