Possible Spoiler Alert!
1. Anne of Green Gables — Anne desperately wants a dress with puffed sleeves to wear to the fancy Christmas party with Diana, because that is her ultimate dream, now that shes been adopted and tasted ice cream at a picnic. Marilla, however, says no, because puffed sleeves are impractical. So Matthew, who loves Anne very much but is painfully shy, goes out to the mercantile and is so embarrassed to talk to the lady at the counter, that he orders a rake and 20 pounds of brown sugar before he can ask for the dress. But he finally does. And then there is The Scene. Anne is totally ecstatic, of course, but then the enormity of what Matthew did for her overcomes her. She goes into the barn where he is working and she is tearing up. He looks crestfallen, thinking that she’s crying because she doesn’t like the dress. But then, through her tears, Anne says that it is the most exquisite thing shes ever seen and Matthew looks so happy! Then she goes to hug him and he is worried she’ll get her dress dirty, but she wraps him into the most loving hug, and it is just one of the sweetest, most beautiful scenes ever.
2. Thirteen — The big scene where Evie tells Melanie that Tracy is a cutter. The sheer terror that Evan Rachel Wood (Tracy) conveys as she desperately tries to hide her arms, even though the secret is out, is chilling. And then, despite Melanie’s absolute horror at seeing her daughter’s scars, she immediately switches gears into protective mother mode, and basically forces Tracy to let her hug her. Then Tracy sobs and sobs, and Melanie holds her, and you can tell she is so torn between helplessness and relief that Tracy is finally her daughter again.
3. American Beauty — As I have admitted, I am a sucker for a good montae, and the last one in this movie gets me every time. Especially Annette Bening, burying herself in Lester’s clothing and just losing it.
4. My Girl — Of course! “He can’t see without his glasses!”
5. Lean On Me — Basically every moment in this movie is awesome, but I well up when Joe Clark looks out the window and sees the students out in droves, rallying for him. And there is that great laughter through tears moment with Sam’s, “We don’t want a good principal! We want Mr. Clark!” This whole movie gives me chills. Granted, Morgan Freeman could make me feel 12 powerful emotions all at once just by reading an Olive Garden menu out loud, but still.
6. Life Is Beautiful — When Roberto Benigni dares to let Dora know that he and their son are still alive over the concentration camp loudspeaker. “Bonjourno, principessa!” And he plays their opera for her, and oh man! Dora looks absolutely beatific in her relief and her love, even, or especially, through all that is happening.
7. The Little Mermaid — When Ariel says goodbye to her friends and family from the sea, and hugs King Triton — “I love you, Daddy.” Awwwwwwwww!
8. A Beautiful Mind — Alicia has already admitted to Adam Goldberg earlier in the movie that she has totally mixed feelings towards John, and you see what a toll this is taking on her, understandably. But somehow, her love for him is stronger than the bitterness, and she finds the strength to reach her husband who has become a stranger. “I need to believe that something extraordinary is possible” — with the trembling of the voice, and the holding of the stare — goosebumps!
9. Titanic — I know this gets movie gets the eye roll from many, but I don’t care — I love it! And seriously, the montage towards the end, when everyone is waiting to die, is insanely powerful. The older couple lying in each others arms in their bed makes me tear up just thinking about it. It’s utterly heartbreaking, yet beautiful in a way.
10. Glory — Again, Morgan Freeman! But also Denzel Washington! And everyone, running around being awesome, and the score! Oh, the score. The final scene on the beach, from CHARGE! to FORWARRRRRRD! to that moment after Shaw is killed, with the dawning realization, and the absolute frenzy the soldiers go into, to the utterly haunting moment that Denzel Washington’s body floats down in slow motion onto Matthew Broderick’s — so, so amazing.
© May 10, 2005