Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crybaby Countdown: The Tearjerk-iest Moments of 2010

year in review

Kurt here from Your Movie Buddy, getting honest about choking up. I live to cry at the movies, but it's so, so rare. It's like genuine belly laughs: they're great, but they just don't happen that much, especially for frequent, discerning filmgoers. My strongest recent memory of getting all sniffly would probably be during the candlelight vigil scene at the end of Milk. Such a powerful sight. I don't discriminate, though: I'm not afraid to admit I fell victim to the climax of the DeNiro weeper Everybody's Fine. Tearducts play by their own rules. Here's what gave mine a workout this year:

SPOILERS APLENTY...

9. “Because it's important to you,” Date Night
It's no must-see, but Date Night scores major heartstring points as a valentine to long-term commitment. In the end, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey (let's call them “Stina”) have a lovely breakfast scene in which Steve throws in this affecting, encapsulating line about the couple's shared suburban pastimes.

8. Funeral scene, Undertow
Yes, it's another gay film stricken by tragedy. But it's a very, very moving one, especially in its closing scene, when in-denial protagonist Miguel (Cristian Mercado) at last pays tribute to the lover (Manolo Cardona) he lost too soon.

7. On the bench, Rabbit Hole
I don't have one specific scene to cite here, but rather every park scene Nicole Kidman shares with Miles Teller (who, IMO, was robbed of Supporting Actor attention). Their moments together are such wise, aching and beautiful depictions of forgiveness and mutual healing.

6. “Just read it to me, as a friend,” The King's Speech
For me, moving and plausible friendships are right up there with troop-rallying battle cries and father-son reconciliations in the lump-in-the-throat department. This moment between Firth and Rush runs deep.

5. Scrubbing the sidewalk, For Colored Girls
In the wrongly-reviled Tyler Perry melodrama, the suffering is constant, but a lot of it hits its mark. The most shattering scene is when Kimberly Elise is comforted by Kerry Washington during an unfathomable moment of post-traumatic cleansing. Then someone walks over her stain, and it's like claws to the soul.

4. Wedding, Blue Valentine
There are crushing moments aplenty in this oh-so-painful love story, but none trump that which finally shows you – in one gleaming-white, all-American flashback – all the initial hope and joy that's deteriorated through the course of this tragic couple's marriage.

3. Off to college, The Kids Are All Right
This hugely emotional au revoir is the perfect capper to everyone's new favorite family portrait. When all is said and done, family comes first, and at the end of the day, what's truly important is that the kids are...oh, you know.

2. Lantern release, Tangled
I liked the story of Tangled just fine, and Rapunzel's quest for freedom and identity is nicely developed, but what truly underscores this absolutely breathtaking peak of the Disney gem is its pure ability to transport: to childhood, to Disney's princess heyday, to movie heaven.

1. Moving on (Finale), Toy Story 3
I am not on the Toy Story 3 bandwagon by any means, but you better believe I was a puddle of mush just like everyone else during the final scene. I truly think it's one of the most emotional series finales in history. The greatness of its impact is that it's at once universal and personal: it feels like it's speaking to every viewer individually.

Need to laugh now? The YEAR IN COMEDY

Your turn, TFE readers. Spill it.  
What had you fighting back tears this year?
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28 comments:

jbaker475 said...

Far and away my #1 moment was in Rabbit Hole when Becca sees (from her car) Jason heading out for prom. Even before Becca really started crying, that scene was such a weirdly perfect moment to release all of the pent up emotion that Becca had never allowed herself to fully come to terms with. I f**king lost it, and cried my eyes out for the next 5 or 10 minutes. I don't think I've been hit that hard since I saw Dancer in the Dark for the first time about 3 years ago.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

To those I would add the final 10-15 minutes of L'ILLUSIONISTE.

Such dramatic depth... It touches your heart so deeply. It's SO moving. And that score...

I agree with your other picks.
TANGLED's paper lanterns scene is breathtakingly beautiful.

And yes the last scene of TOY STORY 3 is awesome.

And HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON's ending is also amazing. I thought they'd never go there but that they did says a lot about the power and quality of the movie. And the joint music of "Where's Hiccup" and "Coming Back Around" is ravishing.

NATHANIEL R said...

Jorge -- OH. The Illusionist finale is just gutting.

and

jBaker -- agreed but then Nicole just killed me in that movie. so much pain and humanity but also a fighting spirit that you could tell was going to come out the other end.

Rick Tran said...

I know I'm breaking some kind of rule by not naming a film, but I had to chime in with the final scene in the season finale of "The Walking Dead" where Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" strikes an aching and haunting tone.

Then again, that song could have played over the end credits to Tron Legacy and I would have gotten all choked up.

Anonymous said...

was actually shaking and sobbing and full-on whimpering and heaving during the wedding scene in blue valentine. the grizzly bear soundtrack, in particular, really added to the effect and hit me HARD. so, so hard. i imagine there were puddles of tears in the theater.

Dean said...

Pretty much the last third of Never Let Me Go was a giant tearjerker for me.

J. Townsend said...

Although the ending of TOY STORY 3 got to me and I did shed a few tears, the biggest tear-jerker of 2010 for me was definitely RABBIT HOLE... I was on the edge of tears from the very start... But when Aaron Eckhart is walking the dog and then breaks down-- I lost it completely. From then on the tears were flowing. And then, Nicole in the car during the Prom... OMG... gut wrenching. RABBIT HOLE has affected me in ways very few other films have...

Michael said...

The scene in "The Fighter" where Dickey is being arrested by the cops and Mickey runs from his nice little dinner with the family/Charlene to save his brother, combined with his pleas to the cops to stop beating a well-defeated Dickey. I almost completely lost it, but my mom was next to me and that always makes crying at movies awkward! That movie had one or two other tear-jerking moments, at least for me. What a film.

Alex in Movieland said...

oh, I'd add an unusual one, but the easiest choice for me right now:

- Naomi Watts's elevator scene in Mother and Child. When she's just about to run away again, the blind teenage girl gets into the elevator and Naomi's character, with so much guilt on her face, just sits there without saying anything and with tears in her eyes.


I agree that the idea of the scene you've mentioned from Toy Story 3 has lots of emotional impact, but I also thought it was the weak moment of the film. It took too long for it to reach its point and seriously: would an 18 year old Andy on his was to college spend minutes and minutes playing with action figures & dolls with a 5 year old?!
I'm more likely to believe the toys moving and talking.

Hardy said...

Rabbit Hole.

The scene where Jason confesses to Becca that he might have been going to fast. That ripped me apart. Ugh.

Also, the scene where Jason leaves for prom and Becca realizes that her son will never get that chance. Left me soaking in tears.

caroline said...

There were a lot of movies in 2010 I loved but I remained strangely dry throughout the year. Entertained, but dry. What a contrast to my 2009 cry-a-thon, when I wept consistently through Bright Star, Up, 500 Days of Summer, Where the Wild Things Are, Ponyo, and remained mostly teary-eyed and moved throughout, a dozens of other movies.

G.ShaQ said...

No!!!! Undertow spoiler alert maybe??
For me, it had to be Rabbit Hole. I wasn't sobbing as much as I was left with a deep sense of emptiness, which is precisely what makes this movie so rich. Having suffered a similar lost recently, I connected to those characters in ways I never thought possible in a movie before. Perhaps fortunately for some movie-goers, grief is best served in its most manifest, and this experience will be bland; yet for those who have worn out those soles, the nuances that Kidman and Mitchell brought to the work are so very palpable. I caught myself looking away.

Dylan said...

I think I was the only person in the theater crying when Aron was rescued at the end of 127 Hours...but that Sigur Ros song just got to me! And then the helicopter shows up! Oh god, here I go again...

Mierzwiak said...

Only Toy Story 3.

Of course finale was extremely moving, but it was incinerator scene that made my cry like a baby. What a powerful scene.

Drew said...

Precious, Toy Story 3 and Blue Valentine were the only films I saw in the cinema this year that had me tearing up. Blue Valentine is freshest in the mind since I only saw it a few days ago, definitely a few sobs in there.

5plitreel said...

Blue Valentine, why oh why can't I see you in months! Europe get a grip.

Basti said...

Of course, TOY STORY 3. First, the heartbreaking "holding hands" in the face of death and the wonderful conclusion with "the claaaaw". And the ending is the most powerful, moving, honest, truest and emotional scene this year. I cried. And I'm not the person who cries that often.

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Julianne Moores big speech. And the ending scene at college. It felt so real. And honest. And true. Really deeply moving, because I experienced this situation myself not long ago. And the ending with the fingers touching and Laser smiling. Perfect.

Kurtis O said...

@Alex: First, thank you for reminding me to get with the program and catch up with "Mother and Child." Second, I think arguing that Andy wouldn't spend minutes(!) with a 5-year-old is grossly missing the point and undermining the character's long-standing benevolence. As for believing the toys moving and talking, wasn't that a requirement from day one?

@GShaq: yeah, apologies for the spoilers. There was a little warning after the intro paragraph...

@Everyone: I'm loving the impassioned response to "Rabbit Hole." I had no idea that movie had so many weepy devotees.

badmofo said...

Mother and Child had me tearing up way more than I'd like to admit. The most heartbreaking scene for me had to be the last one with Annette Bening's character looking at bedside photos of her daughter (Naomi Watts) before going to sleep. Her character's journey to get to that point was incredibly tough to watch.

And if you didn't cry at least once during Rabbit Hole I'm not sure you even have a soul.

Nikhat said...

Toy Story 3's ending was amazing.
I think I wept bucket loads throughout Never Let Me Go. Especially the scene when Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan are sitting on the couch, getting the hopes crashed. *sniff*

Alex in Movieland said...

@Kurtis O,

I stand by my opinion: that scene was too long. He's 18 years old, leaving to college in an hour, no I don't think he'd spend I don't know how much time with a 5 year old playing with dolls in her backyard. I have a problem believing that. :) Otherwise, Toy Story 3 is FANTASTIC and the scene with the holding hands, very moving, among others.

Rebecca said...

The end of 'Never Let Me Go' got to me. Tommy's face when he realizes they can't get a deferment was what did it.

And the end of 'I am Love' had overwhelming emotion.

Marshall1 said...

All those scenes you guys mentioned drove me to tears too (from a lump in the throat to a mess). I recently saw Rabbit Hole and besides the prom scene, I think the scene with Kidman and Wiest talking about grief while packing up the kid's room is very touching AND hilarious at the same time. You can see how they let their guard down for a minute and enjoy each other's company. Also, the ending soliloquy of Nicole. Didn't see the Blue Valentine yet....

However, two of my favourite moments include:

--The twin movies of HBO: Temple Grandin and You Don't Know Jack. For Temple Grandin, just watching her struggles and her tenacity drives me to tears of admiration. However, the last scene when she talks about her mom is surprisingly non-emotional. In You Don't Know Jack, when Susan Sarandon is talking to Pacino near the end of her life is also very painful to watch (so does other patients are need the treatment of euthanasia)

--The second one is from Poetry, a superb Korean movie. I got so teary when the participants of the poetry seminar has to talk about a moment in their life (don't quite remember about what though...lol, I think about the moment that touches them??). Also, the ending was very powerful.

Ivo Delgado Rivero said...

To me in Rabbit Hole it was every moment between Nicole Kidman and Dianne Wiest, especially when they put all the kid staff on the basement

NATHANIEL R said...

Marshall1 -- so glad to hear a shout out to Poetry. It's really a special movie. I hope it gets some attention next year when it opens.

AnthonyDC said...

Totally agree with the "Toy Story 3" finale. That's what keeps me coming back to it as one of the top 2 or 3 movies of the year.

As for "Rabbit Hole," I thought the montage of Nicole crying as the kid went to prom intercut with the brief flashbacks of the accident hit me hardest.

Michael C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael C. said...

The rousing final speech in the sports movie is such a cliche I wasn't expecting to be moved by one but Bale's climactic corner speech in The Fighter got around my emotional roadblocks. One because of Bale's delivery, the urgency in his voice. Two because although the speech is expected the content caught me off guard. They way Bale used the anger he knew Wahlberg had tied up in him towards his family. It was a motivational speech that doubled as a confession of his own shortcomings. It got me.