' ' Cinema Romantico: The Greatest Movie Reaction Of All Time?

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Greatest Movie Reaction Of All Time?

Granted, I tend to laugh at odd moments when I see movies but one of the hardest times I have ever laughed inside a movie theater was during "Jerry Maguire" when Tom Cruise as the title character is making his drunken living room speech and concludes it by saying to Renee Zellweger's Dorothy Boyd "Good evening" and then Zellweger replies with a "Good evening" of her own. I cannot really express via written word how she says "Good evening" except to say it made me ache with laughter. A brilliant reaction.

There have been more great reactions in cinema than anyone could ever count. Ethan Hawke going to brush the strand of hair from Julie Delpy's face in "Before Sunrise" and then stopping short. The look on Daniel Day Lewis's face in "Last of the Mohicans" right after Madeleine Stowe accuses him of "indifference." It's terrifying. I've seen it - I'm estimating here - 859 times and it never fails to send me diving behind my couch to hide in fear. The expression of Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow when he realizes the potential crew member is without a tongue. Jeff Bridges' surprised "Ah" in "The Big Lebowski" to John Goodman advising him their primary bowling adversary is literally a "pederast." Hilary Swank's face in "Million Dollar Baby" when Clint Eastwood finally tells her what "Mo Cuishle" means.


Sorry, I had to leave the room for a minute after that last one and re-gather myself. Anyway....for all those great reactions none of them take the prize. In The Coen Brothers' Best Picture winning "No Country For Old Men" (2007) Josh Brolin is Llwelyn Moss. He was out hunting in the vast expanse of empty prairie only to happen upon a drug deal gone wrong - very, very, very, very, very wrong. Figuring there had to have been a "last man standing" he tracks that man down, a man who has found shade and died there....with a case. A case that Llewelyn finds and opens and upon seeing that it contains stacks and stacks and stacks of cash he grunts a lone word: "Yeah." It is MAGNIFICENT. It is utterly beyond compare.

In that one word grunt he conveys the following: "All that money could solve all my ills. Of course, if I take it I will upset the balance of order in the universe. They'll coming looking for me and they'll find me and I'll have to run and I'll have to keep running because they won't give up. It's inevitable. The chances of me surviving me all this are probably 50-50. No. Worse. 80-20. Maybe even 90-10. But....that money could solve all my ills. Who am I kidding here? I have to take it. I have to. I don't have a choice. Even though I don't think I want to. God damn it."

And if you don't think he conveys all that in a one word grunt then you obviously have not seen it.

1 comment:

Lexi said...

That was my favorite part of the whole dang movie! Brilliance!