Written By: Nick Poulimenakos
As 2017 draws to a close, we here at Talkies Network have decided to release several top ten’s commemorating the best and worst moments in film this year. This will be the first. 2017 has been in a stellar year for cinema and this list will highlight ten of the best scenes seen on the silver screen. Now, evidently this list could extend to arguably 100. But a line had to be drawn somewhere. So, without further-ado, here are the ten best film scenes of 2017!
If it wasn’t clear already, SPOILERS AHEAD!
10. Meet Pennywise
The 1990 edition of Stephen King’s IT has remained popular with fans but it’s also generally considered to be a rather average adaptation of the author’s work. Fast forward 27 years later and Andy Muschietti conveys a film that not only embodies the spirit of being a kid, but captures true horror in his version of IT. The film was home to several great scenes but none compare to the film’s opening where we meet everyone’s favourite clown for the first time, Pennywise. We watch as the camera follows poor young Georgie as he chases his paper boat into a sewer. The tension heightens as George looks in and Pennywise appears, scarier than ever. The close up angles builds the creepy factor as every word out of Pennywise’s mouth will make your skin crawl. It’s a scene that perfectly sets the stage for what’s to come and is destined to haunt your memories for years to come.
9. Apes Together Strong – War for the Planet of the Apes
Seriously Hollywood, it’s a travesty that Andy Serkis hasn’t been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Caesar. His performance in War for the Planet of the Apes will not only go down as one of his best ever, but his acting alongside Amiah Miller’s Nova was sheer movie magic. As his will to live dwindles, Caesar finds himself imprisoned in the ape detention camp. When night falls, Nova, who was found by Caesar and his apes, infiltrates the camp and finds Caesar near death. She brings him water and food as well as the doll given her to by Caesar’s most trusted friend, Maurice. Caesar then looks on as his fellow apes rally together, with him as their leader, ready to take the fight back to the humans. It’s a truly inspiring scene as it embodies hope and perseverance wonderfully. Reeves’ incredible direction incorporates wonderful visuals, a thunderous score, and tear-jerking emotion If Serkis isn’t nominated yet again, maybe it is time for an ape takeover.
8. Walt Disney World – The Florida Project
Sean Baker is severely underrated. His latest picture, The Florida Project is finally garnering the director some much deserved awards attention but special praise must be directed towards the film’s ending. The film becomes even sadder than it already is as child services arrives to take Moonee away from her mother Halley. Moonee manages to escape with her best friend and suddenly, everything changes. The Florida Project, which was shot on 35mm for most of it, ends with a sequence entirely shot on Baker’s iPhone, giving the movie a more intimate and raw feel. The young girls end up sneaking into Magic Kingdom for a fun filled adventure, something Baker captured beautifully. In a moment of pure fantasy and fun, Baker portrays a beautiful but truly devastating moment that caps off one of the greatest films about childhood in recent memory.
7. K, Joi and Mariette – Blade Runner 2049
A beautiful yet creepy sequence, Blade Runner 2049 plays host to one cinema’s most fascinating sex scenes. Officer K, in the midst of his complicated and potentially game-changing investigation that might reveal a replicant can give birth, has begun to rely more heavily on his computer girlfriend Joi. Joi responds to both her’s and K’s desire’s by hiring replicant sex worker, Mariette. Joi is able to holographically project herself on to Mariette so that K can feel that it is her that he’s having sex with. Joi then attempts to merge with Mariette’s physical body movements but during the entire scene, it is never 100%. What plays out is both captivating and spine-chilling as the two actresses continue to try and combine with unsettling breaks in projection. Denis Villeneuve’s direction during this futuristic sequence is astounding. Joi never fully adapts to Mariette’s emotions and that’s exactly what Villeneuve intended. The sequence is in a constant state of uneasiness as the act of sexual intercourse is never see, but is merely teased in extended character interactions. This is because sex is not about physical satisfaction, but a symbol of two people connecting on a deeper level, something K knows he can never achieve with Joi.
6. The Truth Comes Out – Coco
Pixar is at its best when it produces an original story and Coco solidifies this. A film that doesn’t shy away from emotional and brutal moments, Coco’s biggest moment comes from main character Miguel, who slowly but surely uncovers the truth regarding his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz and his companion on this adventure, Hector. Miguel realizes that it is Hector, not Ernesto, who is his great-great grandfather. Ernesto, who was Hector’s music partner, poisoned Hector and stole his guitar and songs, becoming Mexico’s most famous musician. What’s most surprising is that the film actually shows the death of Hector, something that Pixar, and children’s films in general have generally strayed away from. The moment is filled with pure emotion as we see Miguel’s entire life drain before our eyes. His idol, the one who inspired him to carry on playing music when his family barred it, is a complete lie and it continues to give credence to the fact that Pixar knows how to make their audience cry.
5. No Man’s Land – Wonder Woman
75 years. It took 75 years for Wonder Woman to make her big screen debut in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and it was incredible, but it still wasn’t her film. Fast forward one year later and the day has finally come. Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins finally has the character take centre stage for the first time. The essence of Wonder Woman can be drawn to one image: Diana of Themyscira, unleashing her heroic nature, dressed in her Amazonian garb for the first time in the world of men. The film’s “no man’s land” sequence reinforces the character’s one true principle of protecting the innocent. Viewers watched and cheered as Wonder Woman stepped onto the battlefield for the first time, blocking bullets from every corner as Steve Trevor leads the troops against the Germans. She pushes through, calm and collected with Jenkins perfectly conveying the character’s courage and bravery. With the thunderous score playing in the background, this is a wonderful depiction of power, grace, wisdom and wonder and gave us the Wonder Woman we’ve been waiting for.
4. Hypnotized – Get Out
It may have been nominated as a comedy at the Golden Globes, but Get Out remains as one of the scariest movies of 2017 and no scene better showcases this than main character Chris entering “the sunken place.” Under the guise of helping him quit smoking, Missy hypnotizes Chris using the memory of his mother’s death. From then on, a frozen Chris begins to cry and, on Missy command’s, sinks helplessly into the floor. It’s a moment that has become iconic as it promptly developed an idiom encapsulating the kind of systemic subjugation Get Out warns its viewers about. With phenomenal performances, along with fantastic direction and writing, the sunken place will forever be remembered as one of the most horrifying cinematic moments of 2017 even though there’s nothing overtly scary about it.
3. Kylo Ren vs. Luke Skywalker – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
What. A. Twist. Throughout The Last Jed, the conflicted nature of Kylo Ren was on full display but here, things came to a rather interesting head. When all seems lost, Luke Skywalker finally returns to the Rebellion to take on the First Order. He walks out, all alone, lightsaber in hand as he ready’s himself for a fight. After using an immense amount of firepower (and none of it having an impact), Kylo Ren comes down to take on Luke himself. In an unexpected turn of events, fans do not get a traditional lightsaber battle. In two quick moments, Kylo angrily attacks Luke but Luke dodges both, leaving Kylo infuriated. Luke ends the battle by saying that if Kylo strikes him down, he’ll always be with him, leading Kylo to once again try and attack. He then realizes that Luke was never there, projecting himself through the force so that the Resistance can make their escape. It’s the biggest and best twist in the film and is right in line with The Last Jedi’s theme. The film thematically is focused on sacrifice, failure and the hope placed in a future generation. Throughout the film, symbols of the previous status quo in Star Wars die, and while it’s difficult to get through, it leaves room for change. It pushes characters into a new direction. Kylo throughout the film says that he wants to let the past die but clearly can’t let go of his hate for Luke failing him as a teacher. The battle, along with the twist is an emotive, pulse-pounding sequence and reminds fans why they fell in love with the Star Wars franchise.
2. Berserker Rage Wolverine – Logan
The Wolverine moment fans have waited 17 years for. Logan serves as the final cinematic portrayal for Hugh Jackman’s iteration of Wolverine and it delivered on essentially every aspect, including upping the violence level to an obscene amount. Logan’s legendary berserker rage was on full display as he bulldozes his way through Transigen soldiers. One by one, another solider falls victim to Wolverine’s claws as he runs to save his daughter from the enemy. The best part? Wolverine and Laura fighting alongside each other, violently killing every soldier that appears. It is a moment that Jackman and director James Mangold clearly worked hard on to get right. This is a Logan that is beaten down and near the end of his life but this is where he strives. Logan’s superpower is not just that he is claws that come out of his hands. His will to never give up is where he becomes the strongest man possible. He could be on the ground, being beaten to a pulp and Logan will still rise up. Throughout the film, he tries to keep his relationship with Laura to a minimum but here, he accepts her as his daughter and comes to her aid when she needs him the most. A truly visceral moment, the Berserker Rage sequence will go down as a shining moment in the superhero genre’s history.
1. Opening Heist – Baby Driver
Edger Wright never disappoints. Baby Driver’s opening sequence succeeds on all fronts, delivering an action sequence that perfectly captures the audience’s imagination and excitement. During six minutes of pure delight, a heist sequence unfolds in real time. From the perspective of Ansel Elgort, the song “Bellbottoms” is cued up, leading to his accomplices successfully robbing a bank. The sequence then kicks into high gear as each drift, turn and gun shot in the car chase is perfectly edited to the beat of the song, becoming a tantalizing vehicular mayhem joy-ride. You are constantly on the edge of your seat, watching as Elgort’s Baby evade the cops in increasingly creative ways. What’s even more entertaining is watching Baby’s heist partners react in incredibly different ways to Baby’s actions. As Baby accelerates, there’s a sense of charm, heart and all kinds of cool and the end result is our pick for the best film scene of 2017.
Honourable Mentions: Drive to the Dance (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Stairway Fight (Atomic Blonde), The Rescue (Dunkirk), A Father and Son’s Heart-to-Heart (Call Me By Your Name), & Ending Sequence (The Shape of Water).
That’s our list! Don’t agree with it? Let us know in the comments down below what your picks are for best film scenes of 2017!