Monday, February 10, 2020

AFT Awards: Top 15 Scenes of the Year

This is a special category of the 13th 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.

The self-destructive tendencies Laura and Tyler have were simultaneously enthralling and frightening, and there was nothing more inherently wild than their eagerness to collect and combine all leftover wine at any event.

Hope returns at an important moment when the team members seem defeated, but that all changes when Thor’s hammer comes flying at Thanos, only to be caught not by Thor but by Captain America. Thor’s excitement at having predicted this show of superhuman strength is shared by anyone watching.

For franchise devotees, the opening of the portals is an absolutely fulfilling and fabulous way to bring together the many movies that feed into this one. But for even a casual viewer, the sheer scale and impact of this mega-scene and the ensuing battle is matched by nothing else, delivering a payoff that a lengthy nostalgia trip certainly merits.

Rudy’s bewilderment at his movie finally getting its big premiere is wondrous enough, but it’s what he decides to do when he sees the lengthy line of people around the block waiting for the midnight showing that’s truly marvelous. Opting to entertain them as they wait shows the good nature that drove him to make all this happen.

The direction of this film’s plot isn’t clear until this moment, when the pizza delivery guy who’s terrible at his job finds an unexpected connection to the woman on the other side of the buzzer after he shows up late with a ruined pizza.

Early on in this film, its offbeat tone is best summarized by this still that has defined much of its promotional material, showcasing its title character trying to rid himself of his new nickname and flailing miserably in the process, embodying the truly bizarre and comical nature of this film.

Mont’s vision of the world is fascinating, and that’s best expressed when he goes over to a group of people talking and tells them that they’re doing it wrong, giving them stage notes as if they’re in a play that he’s directing. The actual play he later stages is also riveting.

It’s not always apparent that this film is framed within just one shot, but it’s impossible to escape the intensity of Schofield running across a battlefield, dodging those who nearly hit him and rolling through it each time that he’s knocked over, determined against all odds to reach his destination.

The early return of the Park family results in quick thinking from the Kims, stranding Ki-taek and his children under the table as Dong-ik and Yeon-gyo sit to watch their son camp outside. The fear of them being discovered quickly turns to a different type of horror as Dong-ik comments on Ki-taek’s smell being present, judging him as a member of a lower class of society.

After that tense extended scene, Ki-taek and his children stumble home to find that the rain which will inspire Yeon-gyo to host a festive party has completely devastated their entire livelihood, flooding their semi-basement apartment. It’s a haunting callback to the first scene in which the family opened their windows to score some free asbestos.

It’s the central point that kicks this film into gear and thrusts its title character into the spotlight: Richard sees something that doesn’t look right and does exactly what he should, calling in the appropriate authorities and calmly urging anyone in the vicinity to follow protocol and get as far away as possible.

There’s an important shift that happens when Richard becomes the prime suspect in the attack whose impact he helped to reduce, and it’s felt most when Richard finally realizes it. His eager participation in the charade set up by the FBI finds him blatantly pretending to sign a waiver, and when he’s told to do it for real, that’s when he knows he really needs to talk to a lawyer.

This film’s pivotal scene is the one that finally explains the disappearance of one of its main characters at the beginning of the film, beautifully and painfully bringing the audience in to an entirely different world whose important revelations will change everything.

This may well be the best community response to bullying ever represented on film, as the inability of one member of the troop to control when she has to go to the bathroom results in her entire team boldly following suit, eager to show their support for their embarrassed troopmate.

It’s a moment that serves as the crux of the film and is mentioned earlier, but it’s still captivating to watch Rudolf pace back and forth as he knows that he’s about to leave this idyllic life behind, with Clara there to work her magic and help him take a daring step that’s presented magnificently and enthrallingly in this suspenseful scene.

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Nermin said...
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