Continuing my lists over the best of 2011. I think it’s best to now discuss the best film scenes of 2011. Now this will follows the rules of any film in these lists has to have been released in the UK in 2011. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right in with:
10. Death by Wood Chipper – Tucker and Dale vs Evil – This is easily one of the times I’ve laughed the hardest at a death scene in a film and not due to the nature of the death itself. This scene is sold by Alan Tudyk’s reaction. His facial reaction is so funny is this scene, especially the look of shock when he sees what’s going on. The icing on the cake however is him asking “Are you Okay?” I die of laughter every time I hear that.
9. Moses’ Final Assault – Attack the Block – This scene brings the character of Moses full circle, at the start of Attack the Block, you see him pulling a knife out on a nurse and we see the journey Moses goes through to become a hero slowly throughout the film. This scene brings this to a head, we see that Moses is willing to kill himself to prevent the aliens from killing any more people. The fact that this scene is all in slow motion makes the bad-ass quality of Moses all the more apparent, along with the epic music putting this scene in the list.
8. Escaping the CIA Centre – Hanna – Now this is the scene which showed me just how much of a threat Hanna was and how much work Saoirse Ronan put into the role. Before this, I just didn’t buy the assassin capabilities of Hanna, just because we don’t see her in a real life or death scenario. When this scene comes along and we see Hanna just killing all these people and then quietly hiding away, I saw the assassin qualities of the character. It’s the same as it was in Kick-Ass with Hit Girl, to see just how dangerous the character is, we need to see her showing her capabilities against much older opponents and it works just as well for Saoirse Ronan in Hanna as it did with Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass (BTW, when I get round to doing my review of Hanna, prepare for a lot of these comparisons.)
7. The Nightmare – The Artist – Now this is the main time when the silent film angle of The Artist works. Because The Artist is mostly silent, the shock at this scene mimics the feelings of George Valentin over the situation of sound coming into the movie world with sound coming into the world and Valentin still being silent says more about the character of Valentin than any amount of real world exposition could ever do.
6. Climbing the Burj Khalifa – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – This scene is a textbook example of tension, done through the simple fact that Tom Cruise was actually climbing this building. If this scene was done with CG, there would be no tension at all. But because you know that there was a serious possibility that Cruise could have actually fallen off of the building the scene becomes all the more intense. In IMAX the scene becomes even more intense because the size of the screen and the fact that this scene was filmed in IMAX which in turns makes the feeling of height even more apparent, boosting this scene into the list.
5. Archibald Haddock vs Red Rackham – The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn – Now this is one of the films in which it was hard to choose a scene from, mainly between 2, this and the one take chase sequence but there’s one reason why this scene won, Andy Serkis. Serkis is having so much fun doing the swordfighting stuff and playing a drunk Captain Haddock remembering this fight. Aside from this, the imagery is just gorgeous, the bit with the Unicorn sailing over the desert ranks as one of the best visuals I’ve ever seen in an animated film. Plus, as stated before this scene is so much fun, this puts Pirates of the Caribbean 4 to shame, placing this at number 5.
4. Hugh Jackman’s Cameo – X-Men: First Class – This is only a 30 second scene but it says so much about Wolverine, he says just 3 words, yet those 3 words say more about him than X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I cannot say much more than it’s the scene which perfectly captures the tone of X-Men: First Class
3. The Life of Georges Melies – Hugo – This is one of the few times I’ve ever cried during a film. In fact 2011 has had a few films I’ve cried in, Senna, Super 8 and now Hugo. I think this is a credit to the talents of these people that I can cry 3 times in films in a year. But going back to this scene, the reason I cry, and the whole reason why this scene is in here, is the power of Ben Kingsley’s performance as Melies. His reaction from having everything to losing it is perfectly done and I just felt so sorry for him. To top it all off, most of the stuff in this flashback actually did happen to Melies, he did start out as a magician, he did burn virtually all of his films and props and he did sell his films to a company that turned them into shoes. This fact makes this scene all the more heartbreaking and puts this scene at the number 3 spot.
2. The Train Crash – Super 8 – This is easily the best train crash I’ve ever seen on screen. The way in which there is genuine tension over whether or not the kids will be seriously injured by the crash is excellent and the effects are astonishing. You genuinely believe that the train has crashed with the only reason you know it hasn’t being that it was far too risky when there were minors on the set. Still, this is an excellent scene and it mystifies me that Super 8 was not nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar based on this scene alone.
1. The Battle of Hogwarts – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – How could this not be number one. The final battle which all of the Harry Potter films have been building up to, it gives every character a time to shine. This battle has some of the best action I’ve seen all year but the way in which it ties up everything it possibly could in the Harry Potter series is what propels this scene to number 1.
Caesar’s First Word – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Bear Guy – True Grit
The Forest Shoot-Out – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Steven Spielberg’s Cameo – Paul
Sorry about how long it took for this list to put up, I’ll try to make it so the next list doesn’t take as long, as a teaser, the next list will be my favourite performances in films in 2011 so see you then.
P.S. Since I saw Chronicle today you may see a review of it before the next list comes up, I’ll see how everything goes.