Top Moments in Film 2019
We're well into 2020 and while the start of the year may have been filled with top tens and best lists, I wanted to take this moment to give my most memorable and noteworthy moments in film of 2019!
Now awards season is in full swing it's a chance to give a shout out to the blockbusters, smaller films and overlooked contenders (with one or two Oscar front runners in for good measure). Often, the best films of the year get filled by the biggest and latest awards winners. With nominees still on my watch list, here are my favourite scenes and moments throughout the year!
12. Honky Cat- Rocketman (Taron Egerton and Richard Madden)
2019 was a year with a lot of pressure to continue the newfound love for the music movie. Whether that be a full-on musical, or a film featuring the songs of a famous artist, Rocketman was there to blend both these types together. The year was a very mixed bag musically and was let down by some real stinkers, thankfully Dexter Fletcher was there to save the day.
Honky Cat was just a joy to watch, the smug looks on Taron Egerton and Richard Madden's faces show they were clearly having fun filming this tongue in cheek number. The way they stroll through the various revolving sets not only tells the story perfectly but is reminiscent of great musicals like The Producers, and Singing in the Rain, showing the power of old fashioned Hollywood cheese.
11. Awkward Encounter- Long Shot (Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, and Ravi Patel)
In a time of the year dominated by blockbusters and wannabe franchise starters, Long Shot was there to try and offer something different. While it, unfortunately, didn't seem to catch on at the box office, this alternative comedy is definitely worth a watch, especially because of the chemistry and charm of its cast.
As expected with a Seth Rogen movie there are of course many gross-out and silly moments, but something especially refreshing here was its three-dimensional characters. The hallway scene largely between Seth Rogen (Fred) and June Diane Raphael (Maggie) epitomises the film's dedication in avoiding cliche and keeping things mixed up. The scene reveals a pretty out of the blue plot element and though small and simple, demonstrates the script's ability to fully flesh out the situation and show us what can go on behind closed doors.
10. Catchy Song- The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
This songs gonna get stuck inside yo'. This songs gonna get stuck inside yo'. This songs gonna get stuck inside yo' head!
'Cause it's so catchy, catchy, it's such a catchy song, gonna make you happy, happy, don't try to fight it, sing along...
A surprise musical with great numbers including Not Evil and Gotham City Guys, the standout; Catchy Song featuring T-Pain really is super catchy but also a super fun sequence. Placed perfectly in the film to raise the stakes, bolster the threat and make you wonder what the hell is going on? Catchy Song is just one reason The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was a noteworthy and fun sequel.
9. Mothra joins the Fight- Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Another film unfairly treated by critics and its box office performance, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was pure kaiju fighting fun. With four big monsters to balance, the film does a decent job and certainly gives them all their moment to shine, with one of my favourites being Mothra.
Built-up throughout the film, audiences finally get to see the giant winged insect unleashed in the final fight, and while her action may be limited, she certainly shows she can battle with the best of them. After some visually great imagery featuring her earlier in the film, her arrival and eventual backing of Godzilla makes for a very heroic moment. If you want to see my thoughts on the rest of the film you can catch my review for Fresh Take right here.
8. The House Attack- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di-Caprio)
The image says it all. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is filled with great and memorable moments, but it's certainly hard to shake the chaos that ensues when Pitt and DiCaprio's characters are attacked at the conclusion of the film, leading to some great payoffs and moments alluded to earlier in the movie.
Quentin Tarantino is no stranger to playing with history and while this may be his most controversial twist yet, it's certainly an interesting angle and is simply classic Tarantino chaos.
7. The Ballet Scene- Us (Lupita Nyongo and Lupita Nyongo)
Us is a mad, deep dive of a film, with amazing visuals and a fantastic soundtrack. The trailer made this one of my most anticipated films of 2019, and while I was initially taken aback by the sheer amount of slasher horror Peele goes for, Us certainly sticks with you.
The various images, plot points and teases through the film make it nothing more than fascinating. The idea of the film is amazing enough, but what makes it even more of a treat for the senses, is when the music used in the film's trailer appears in the final face-off. Cuts back and fore between Nyongo's characters facing off but also performing a ballet performance makes for a visually riveting scene, set in the creepy world of The Tethered.
6. Gabby Gabby Finds an Owner- Toy Story 4 (Christina Hendricks and Tom Hanks)
One of the most surprising and beautiful aspects of Toy Story 4 was its ability to take a villain and make you understand her. As well as its amazing animation, the sequel managed to give us an important story that balances continuing the story, but also adding a new element to the finale of Toy Story 3.
Personally I found the entire last act of this film incredibly emotional, and while it may have been helped by the many tears being shed around me, Gabby Gabby facing rejection then finding purpose was a beautiful and touching moment. It not only conveys the ideas of being lost, and then discovered, but also how your dreams can be on the path you didn’t expect to take.
5. Breaking Free- Captain Marvel (Brie Larson and Annette Bening)
If we're talking about overlooked films, Captain Marvel really became outshined by Avengers: Endgame, and while that is perfectly understandable, I still think this film should get more credit for its great re-watch value. Unlike many other Marvel films, Captain Marvel can easily be enjoyed on its own without feeling the need to visit other sequels or adjacent films.
It's light fun and has some great visual effects, with the standout moment for Carol Danvers (Larson) as a hero, coming at the end of the movie when she breaks free of the control of the villainous Supreme Intelligence (Bening). It's not only an inspiring moment to never give up, but also has a great score and really ties the film up nicely, giving Carol a moment in which her amped-up powers feel earned. Hopefully, the sequel continues to humanise and throw new challenges in Captain Marvel's way.
4. Interrogating the Suspects- Knives Out
Knives Out was a fantastic return for Rian Johnson, and while it's hard to talk about great moments without spoiling the very twisty plot, it's opening alone is a sure way to get you sucked in.
Perfectly showing off its spectacular set design, the beginning of the film introduces us to the Thrombeys and the fantastic Cluedo like circumstances it puts into place. Showcasing all the main players, with their bold costumes and vivid characteristics, it also gives us our slow reveal of Daniel Craig's bizarre yet entertaining southern detective. The film's early interrogations not only set up the circumstance of the murder, but also the positioning of all the players, making it all the more fun to guess along as the film unravels.
3. Cap’s Final Stand- Avengers: Endgame (Chris Evans and Josh Brolin)
It was a year filled with finales and long built-up stories finally coming to a close. Endgame was the only big franchise to really pull off such a grand finale, but what was most impressive was how many great character moments made their way into the final product.
While other franchises have been accused of pandering to fans or simply throwing fan service on-screen, Endgame somehow managed to make it earned, but also epic. Chris Evans's Captain America was always close to fans, as too was Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark. But for me, as someone who was team Cap in Civil War, I felt this was the standout moment (of which there were many) in Endgame. The beautiful shot of a single man literally facing up against an army, not only showed the strength of the character but also made moments before (lifting the hammer) and moments after (the heroes returning) all the sweeter. On your left...
2. Arthur's Interview- Joker (Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro)
While Endgame was an epic team-up finale, filled with scenes that got fans cheering and fist-pumping in the cinema, Joker was quite the opposite. Joker had people shocked and holding their breath, thanks to its dark portrayal of society and mental instability.
Joker not only summed up many cultural problems today, but the final interview scene was nothing more than terrifying. While De Niro's Murray Franklin suddenly turning into a hard questioning news reporter threw me off a bit, Joaquin Phoenix dominates this scene, with his unsettling and heartbreaking performance. It's everything Joker encapsulates. Its shocking, violent, and stays with you long after viewing.
1. Javed's Essay- Blinded by the Light (Viveik Kalra and Kulvinder Ghir)
It's only right to end this list a bit teary, with my personal favourite and biggest surprise of 2019. Blinded by the Light may seem at first like a previously mentioned music movie, but in-fact is a touching story of culture, passion and family.
The film sees Viveik Kalra play Javid, a young aspiring writer, with a massive love for Bruce Springstein. While Springstein may not be your cup of tea, the film does a fantastic job of getting you onboard, making his music become a placeholder for what you are passionate about. Throughout the film, Javid and his Father Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) butt heads, with the end scene perfectly wrapping up their story. It's a testimony for all involved, being able to get you emotional in a moment not made so by death, or tragedy, but truth and unity.
Javid's moment on the stage reading his writing and needing support is one we can all relate to, with his family and importantly his Father there, to hear his son's hard-hitting truths, giving a refreshing but also endearing end to the film.
Check out Craig's review here, which also mirrors many of my feelings on the movie.
Let me know what were you standout moments in the comments below!