Every summer we like to glance back at the first half of the year and ask that all-important question: which specific moments in film did you love, regardless of the quality of the film itself? Because it’s those little moments that stick in your memory, long after the credits have rolled.
Ten of our writers chose their favourite moments and wrote about them below, with spoilers all the way through.
Hobbs & Shaw – All the Trailers – Tom Bond
Please don’t judge me for putting a trailer on this list. The problem is, I think it’s my favourite film of the year. What is a film these days anyway? If we’re counting Twin Peaks: The Return then why not Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – Official Trailer [HD]?
I can 100% guarantee that the film itself will not live up to my hype, but this three-minute snippet delivers more than enough punch. Idris Elba playing a ‘black Superman’ called Brixton and announcing that “I am human evolutionary change.” Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson abseiling down the side of a building while arguing with each other. What else do you need?
Booksmart – Malala – Alex Goldstein
What happens when you’ve long outgrown crossing your heart and pinky swears? It doesn’t get much more intense than invoking Malala. The passionately earnest relationship between Booksmart’s glorious oddballs, Amy and Molly, is already a rich, complex and funny model for female friendship. But even that levels up the moment it’s revealed that each of them holds a single in-emergencies-only, must-be-obeyed wild card in the name of the youngest ever Nobel laureate. What could be more perfect than that? Well, this can.
Avengers: Endgame – “And I am Iron Man” – Phil W. Bayles
“I am inevitable… ”
“And I am Iron Man.”
Robert Downey Jr.’s infamous ad-lib at the end of the first Iron Man movie kicked off the defining cinematic phenomenon of the 21st century. 11 years (and 21 films) later, that same line brings the Infinity Saga full circle. Only now, it carries a lot more weight. At its heart, the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been the story of Tony Stark; one man’s mission to atone for the mistakes of his past and “put a suit of armour around the world.” Now he’s gone forever, and we – like Peter Parker and everyone else in the MCU – have to figure out how we’re going to get along without him.
Ray & Liz – Bonfire Night Montage – Rhys Handley
Richard Billingham’s autobiographical Ray & Liz wears its art installation origins on its sleeve through its aesthetically-driven, shapeless beauty, best distilled in the montage at its centrepiece. Billingham’s infant brother Jason is cast out into the cold night, beneath the howl and blaze of Bonfire Night fireworks. Intercut with the heartrending image of a freezing Jason are fragmented shots of his disparate family, all rendered desperate, helpless and apathetic by the cruelty of Thatcher’s Britain. It transcends filmic form in a haunting moment of furious, desperate humanity that confirms the film as an essential work of social commentary and political art.
John Wick 3: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – Dog-fu – Katy Moon
The last five minutes of Jordan Peele’s newest horror delivers one of the year’s most memorable sequences: after the climatic confrontation where Adelaide leaves Red’s body in the tunnels under the beach, flashbacks reveal that Adelaide is the one who died – trapped by Red during their first childhood meeting. This twist not only cements Lupita Nyong’o as one of today’s finest actors but reframes the entire film with the realisation that the Tethered are – given the same environment and opportunities – no different from their surface counterparts. It is an unsettling, thrilling end to two hours of psychological probing and home-invasion chills.
Fyre – Taking one big thing for the team – David Brake
What do you do when there are four trucks stacked full of vital Evian held at customs? You call Andy King. After a swig of mouthwash, the producer prepared to enter internet history. Asked to “take one for the team” to save the infamous Fyre Festival, organiser Billy MacFarland instructed King to perform fellatio on a government official to get the water through. Thankfully King avoided his task but delivered a moment of joy and shock worldwide. Netflix’s Fyre has largely been forgotten now, but halfway through the year, we raise a glass of Evian to the unbelievable willingness of Mr King.
Oscars 2019 – “Lady Gaga!” – Tom Bond
Books can and should be written about Olivia Colman’s reaction to winning the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Favourite. The three minutes of her reaction and speech were an instant dopamine hit amongst the tedium of the Oscar ceremony. She looks ready to faint when her name is called out, almost scared of what’s happened. She’s swarmed by her husband, Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone, and then she’s on stage rambling in the most charming way possible. A raspberry to the autocue, a namecheck for Gaga, and she’s off, leaving you teary-eyed and full of joy.