1) Behind The Candelabra – Liberace Performing Boogie Woogie
It is a transformative moment, brilliantly executed by Soderbergh and marvelously played by Michael Douglas. The actor is stunning, utterly embedding himself into that character and going for it full throttle. It is made all the more impressive by the fact that Douglas is actually playing the routine, which is in and of itself a masterful piece of technical acting, but the fact he can do that and then pull off a note perfect impression of Liberace while still playing is nothing short of breathtaking. This is Douglas’ finest hour and one of the most unforgettable moments of the year.
2) Spring Breakers – James Franco Sings A Britney Spears Song
Spring Breakers was so divisive that saying you enjoyed it or hated it to the wrong group of people means certain death. One moment in the film, however, acts as a bridge between warring colonies in the universal language of WT Absolute F? What I’m referring to is the already iconic scene in which James Franco, after dwelling upon the direction that life has taken him, feels compelled to serenade the girls – in their bikinis and pink ski masks – with a version of “Everytime” by Britney Spears. The girls slowly sway and dance around the piano, twirling their shotguns as they lose themselves in the moment.
It’s not a great song. In fact, it’s distinctly average. This entire moment is down to the indisputable genius of Harmony Korine and his incredible knack for picking which disparate elements will make a beautiful but completely batshit crazy, and totally unforgettable image. It’s the one scene that everybody remembers, and I’d go so far as to say one that you will never forget. If the legacy of Spring Breakers is as “that film with the girls in bikinis and ski masks, dancing to ‘Everytime’ by Britney Spears,” then that would be fitting. It’d be reductive, but it wouldn’t be unwarranted. Then again, I loved the film, so what the hell do I know?
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