The Thomas Crown Affair: Sinnerman (Spoilers!)
Why I like this scene: The music and the motion! I’ve never seen a soundtrack so well utilised. Nina Simone’s voice is perfect for this.
Why watch the whole movie: In my opinion, it’s better than the original, and that’s rare. Rene Russo is amazing – tough and independent, and with a blazing sensuality that does justice to the original character (played by Faye Dunaway, who has a brilliant more-than-cameo in the remake, by the way), but she still makes the role completely her own. Pierce Brosnan is a far more complex, thoughtful and clever Thomas Crown than Steve McQueen. The core of the plot is nothing like the original. It’s trickster thievery rather than thuggish thievery.
Hero: Nameless and Sky (Spoilers!)
Why I love this scene: That is some of the BEST fight choreography I have ever seen. That is what happens when you take two actors who are top tier martial artists and put them with one of the best fight choreographers in the business. It is more than fighting. It’s a revelation of the characters of the two men. There’s a story in there, a philosophy, a deep symbolism. Again, there’s a very happy marriage of music and movement (include the falling rain in the music). Then there’s the arrangement of everything … symmetry, colour, the shift to black and white when they fight in imagination only, the signalling of the climactic moment, the magic of the raindrops and the slowed motion.
Why watch the whole movie: Just do it. I don’t have enough space to write out all the reasons why this movie is a classic, but here are just a few: stunning cinematography, gorgeous costuming and visuals, brilliant fighting, excellent acting, complex plot, poignant yet satisfying ending.
Stormy Weather: The Nicholas Brothers
Why I love this scene: Have you EVER seen dancing like that? I am in awe of what they can do!
Why watch the whole movie: I have no idea. I’ve never seen the whole movie. I just keep coming back for this clip!
Singing in the Rain: Moses Supposes
Why I love this scene: In contrast to the Nicholas Brothers, Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly are almost opposites. Look at the relaxed, almost casual style of the former, and the more controlled, precise manner of the latter. It’s more of a duel than a duet, and they both look like they’re having so much fun.
Why watch the whole movie: Another classic, truly. A glamorous star who’s a brilliant comedienne, the ordinary girl who gets the screen heartthrob, the buddy dynamic between the two main male characters, and a mini lesson in film history combined with the wry self-indulgence of Hollywood poking fun at itself.
Wing Chun: Tofu Kung fu
Why I like this scene: It’s pure fun! It’s the classic ‘non-violent master bests hot-headed troublemaker’ scenario, with added tofu! And when she caught that tray of tofu like that I became a fan for life.
Why watch the whole movie: It’s pure fun! It’s comedy, impossible fight choreography, and complete lightheartedness. Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh are the cutest, most G-rated couple ever.