Saturday, March 9, 2019

AFT Awards: Top 15 Scenes of the Year

This is a special category of the 12th Annual AFT Film Awards, my own personal choices for the best in film of each year and the best in television of each season. The AFT Film Awards include the traditional Oscar categories and a number of additional specific honors. These are my fifteen favorite scenes of the year, listed in alphabetical order by film title. Click here to see previous years of this category. Beware spoilers for these films.

Most moments where Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Nina in on stage are fantastic, but none compared to the one in which she truly bared everything for anyone listening to hear.

It’s the moment that defines this movie for me – when Evan Peters’ Warren turns to the real Warren in the car and asks him if he remembers things happening the same way, seamlessly blending reality and dramatization.

When things start to fall apart, this movie doesn’t lose it but instead continues to follow its protagonists as they haplessly look out from an open elevator and then try to continue with their operation despite it most definitely having been compromised.

This is a film about race and the way society views skin color, which made Miles’ explosion when someone told him to relax and stop playing a part all the more poignant and devastating, particularly because he, as a white person, didn’t have to worry about the consequences of his actions.

There are many hilarious scenes in this movie, but the one in the title takes the cake, as more and more lackeys arrive to find their dearly departed leader dead (or close to it) on the floor and struggle mentally and physically with how to deal with the body.

The first meeting between Emma Stone’s Abigail and Joe Alwyn’s Masham still stands out to me as the most formidable instance of period flirting and a fantastic sampling of just who these two characters really are.

It’s a pure delight to see Stone’s Abigail and Rachel Weisz’s Lady Sarah together as they interact separately from the woman they are both capable of hypnotizing, and a simple shooting activity turns into a far more layered threat with Sarah’s seemingly purposeful near-miss.

Oscar winner Olivia Colman doesn’t need a costar for one of the film’s most indulgent scenes in which Queen Anne truly gets into eating her cake, taking out her frustration at a lack of control on a dessert that’s just as large as it is messy.

After so much buildup, and despite the lack of a featured flag, watching Ryan Gosling’s Neil Armstrong finally set foot on the moon is extremely powerful, especially because his face can’t be seen and instead it’s just his helmet reflecting back the majestic nature of space.

The extended conversation between the two families about the big news turns into a far less pleasant confrontation, enabling Oscar winner Regina King one of her greatest showcases and eliciting formidable turns from every actor in the room.

The moment at which Adel Karam’s Tony and Kamel El Basha’s Yasser see each other as people rather than as enemies when car trouble occurs in the parking lot outside the courtroom is a transformative one for the film itself, showing two dedicated workers who in another life could have been good friends.

There’s a whole lot of buildup to the point where Maia Mitchell’s Angela and Camilla Morrone’s Jessie end up trapped in the back of a sandwich shop with no way out, and the tension isn’t the only thing that rises as the most literally explosive scene in the film proves truly entertaining and ridiculous.

Brady Jandreau does a great job of conveying the sentiment that his character feels towards horses and towards doing what he loves, which makes being right there to watch him relive the glorious past of a friend who didn’t stop in time all the more affecting.

In a film filled with quiet but poignant moments, none resounds more than the sight – and sound – of Marina de Tavira’s Sofia almost not even trying to get the car into the thin driveway without crashing it into both walls multiple times.

This film reached its peak pace right in the middle of the heist as an unexpected player showed up to derail their otherwise mostly successful operation, prompting the women to demonstrate immediately that they weren’t going down without a fight.

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