It’s become something of a yearly tradition here at Flavorwire to take a pause at year’s end to recognize — as the inevitable “Year’s Best Films” lists pour forth (and ours will join them soon enough) — that while a great movie is an accumulation of first-rate writing, directing, and performance, plenty of films that didn’t make that final cut did offer us the pleasure of a perfect scene. After the jump, we present our carefully cultivated picks for ten of the best moments from this year’s films.
“I Dreamed a Dream,” Les Misérables
Director Tom Hooper’s decision to shoot the musical numbers (and the movie is mostly that) live on set — as opposed to the standard practice of lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks — could have just been a gimmick; it also could have been a disaster. But since most (though not all — we’re looking at you, Russell Crowe) of his performers are mesmerizingly good singers, it ended up being a masterstroke, giving the songs a rough, emotional, connected quality. Nowhere was this more clear than in Anne Hathaway’s show-stopping performance of “I Dreamed a Dream,” its live performance aspect heightened by Hooper’s decision to shoot in a long, uncut close-up. This is an actor’s song, and Hathaway acts the hell out of it; kudos to her director for giving her the opportunity to do so in the most effective manner imaginable.