I am a tremendous fan of film and the art that can take us away from ourselves. There are a few that remain very memorable for me and some scenes that are just so incredible that they never leave you. This is one - and not only for Meryls' insanely perfect performance (in one take, mind you) but also in that of the officer. The mad cheer in his eyes...perfect, perfect, perfect.
In a similar vein is Holly Hunter's work in The Piano. Without words she conveyed everything necessary to feel her yearning for expression.
She and Richard Dreyfuss are also simply fantastic in Once Around. It's not the usual family dark comedy because you are turned from sympathetic to antagonised in the same scene. Really artfully done...
I adore Big Night for its characters...and the cooking!
When I first saw The Night Porter I was surprised by it. How can such damaged characters be made into...their own saviors? Besides, one can see Charlotte Rampling dancing naked. Worth the price of admission, no? Trivia has it that this was the first scene shot for the film. Reminds me of old friends. Warning: this clip likely to offend - click with care. Definitely not safe for work.
And an old favorite, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. What a lovely, perfectly paced film. You cannot help but like the characters. Such romance...I have always adored Gene Tierney and if I'd ever born a girl, she would have been named Lucia.
And, the miniseries version of Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton.
He is Rochester, in the flesh. Dark and cynical. Yes, it's poorly filmed but this is acting at its best - with perfect pitch to the mood of the scenes. And this is the BOOK - not someones romanticised version thereof.
If you like him in this, look for his work in Wuthering Heights. He is faery, indeed. These works will show you his true abilities - such that we've not seen since. And the Michel LeGrand soundtrack...sigh...
Ah, which reminds me of The Lion In Winter. Dead GOD, see it. But not for him, no. For darling Katherine. This is a hurricane of talent - a perfect storm of skills and script. So much fantastic dialogue that picking a scene is impossible. I do adore this quote from Eleanor, "I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled. "
I adore Emma THompson - she has done such fine work in Sense and Sensibility. She is a gift to an author. But her work in Wit is so dark and cool...admittedly, very sad but...the words - the language...
I leave this for last - the St. Crispins speech from Henry V. I think Branagh did a fine job, too.