On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, the holiest of holy moments, that I ever did see. Francois Ozon’s 5×2 (2004). Enjoy.
The penultimate holy moment comes from another of my favourite films, Andrei Tarkovsky’s incredible, wonderful Stalker (1979). Ambiguity, beauty, cinematography – an outstanding final sequence of metaphysical proportions.
Widely considered to be the greatest film of all time, The Godfather (Coppola, 1972) is an undoubted masterpiece saturated with brutality, obsession and power. It is also however, a universal tale about family, loyalty and basic human relationships – hence its greatness. Day ten’s holy moment is arguably the film’s single most crucial scene in regards to the eventual plot trajectory as Michael seeks vengeance for his father’s attempted murder, and equally changes his own life forever…
The ninth day of holy moments brings a wonderful, simple, heartwarming modern musical – perfect for the festive period. John Carney’s Once (2006) tells the story of a chance meeting between boy and girl and the subsequent impact they begin to have on each others lives. This film is so feel-good, and so good in general, that I’ve chosen two clips – both stunning.
Two acting legends and a great director. Intense cinematic brilliance ensues. Michael Mann’s Heat (1995).
Next up, on day seven, is a standout, almost hypnotic scene from Fish Tank (2009), directed by the extremely talented Andrea Arnold; and if only the film had ended here it would’ve gone from being just very good to excellent. ‘Life’s a bitch and then you die’, so why not enjoy it when you can…
Day six brings a devastatingly powerful scene from my favourite actress, and one of the best of her generation, Juliette Binoche. It’s taken from Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown (2000), and Binoche plays an actress, Anne, who is rehearsing for a film within the film. Fiction and reality blur for an incredible and hypnotic three minutes.