Welcome to another addition of Top Ten and this time it focuses on one of my favourite directors at the moment – Christopher Nolan.
Now that Interstellar is settling down for either your enjoyment (or distaste), for a director to have that level of ambition in his films with an infant directing career is amazing. Yes at times his films can be flawed but Nolan’s films invites discussion and debate, an aspect which I love. From humble beginnings such as Doodlebug and the Following to his sci-fi odyssey Interstellar, there hasn’t really been a time where I’ve felt disappointed with a Nolan film. Nolan has made his home in the sci-fi realm, writing and directing stories designed to psychologically inspire, entertain and wonder.
To celebrate his success, here are my top ten favourite scenes and moments from his films.
10) The Beginning is the End is the Beginning – Memento
For me, despite this being my first exposure to a Nolan film, the thrill of Memento has waned over the years. However, I still love Guy Pearce’s performance and that is as good as any reason to keep re-watching the film. The uniqueness of Memento lies in the backward premise of the film as it slowly builds towards its ultimate reveal which I’ve picked as my number ten. It’s a conclusion that continues a never-ending cycle for a man to feel normal again. Nolan likes his mind-twists and this is a great example of it.
9) Plane Heist – The Dark Knight Rises
Just a word of warning, this will not be the last Batman entry!
I don’t care what anyone says – I love The Dark Knight Rises and the main reason for that is Tom Hardy as Bane and what an introduction for the character. The opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises showcases a different style of villain from the Joker in The Dark Knight. His physicality and his strength is a major factor but as this scene demonstrates, it’s his ability to stay a step ahead to initiate the grand plan. Plus he has a lovely, lovely voice!
8) The Tumbler – Batman Begins
One thing as a Batman fan that I look out for (besides who’s playing the iconic character) is how the batmobile will look. Before Batman Begins, my favourite batmobile was from the 90s animated series. But after seeing the tumbler in action, that machine has to be best looking and functional batmobile I’ve ever seen. I remember being in awe when I saw it for the first time. This was something new and different. No exaggerated bat shaped tail fin or some crazed highlights – the tumbler looked and operated like a tank! It drives on rooftops! It makes the top ten because of how it outperforms and outmanoeuvres the Gotham Police Department…and how badly I want to drive it 😦
7) What Are You Doing? Docking! – Interstellar
SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT READ IF YOU’VE NOT SEEN INTERSTELLAR
As mentioned in my review, Interstellar is not Nolan’s best film but one stand out and memorable moment from the film was towards the end with a certain introduction of an unexpected actor.
After falsifying the evidence about the planet as a potential home for the human race, Dr. Mann aka The Bourne Coward leaves Cooper for dead and abandons Brand, Romilly and the robots to make his selfish attempt to escape. Once in space, he tries to dock with the Endurance but ignores all the safety procedures. It fails and ends up killing himself and blowing up part of the ship. To the audience, this was the last opportunity for the remaining characters to make it home.
What happens next is something incredible, something that feels so Hollywood and yet with the recent events of Philae landing on a comet 67P, it’s something that is definitely possible. Cooper and TARS match the speed of their craft with the out of control spin of the Endurance to make the necessary dock. Once again, Hans Zimmer’s music captures the tension perfectly.
6) Bank Robbery, Joker Style – The Dark Knight
When the Joker is around, you know he’s always one step ahead of everyone and that is summed up in this brilliant opening scene of The Dark Knight. To the Joker, stealing money wasn’t the ultimate statement because what is the point if there’s no fun to it. So he passes along to each member of the team an order to execute each other – one less share. But in reality, the joke was on them as Joker left with the money and was the last man standing. It’s a sign of things to come and a great performance from Heath Ledger.
5) Messing with the Physics – Inception
The first entry for Inception and it won’t be the last. I saw Inception twice at the cinemas – first time was at my local and the second in IMAX. Even though it wasn’t film in IMAX to take advantage of the giant screen, watching Inception cemented my love of the format and this scene nailed it. The whole audience was practically stretching their necks like a bunch of meerkats to see a city bend on top of itself! Brilliant stuff.
4) Truck Flip – The Dark Knight
Ever watched a film and the whole audience claps at the same moment? Back in 2008, this was it. Batman chases down the Joker on the batpod and outrageously outsmarts him…like a boss.
3) The Transported Man – The Prestige
Unfortunately I can’t find the video of the actual scene but any moment involving the transported man trick is a great watch. After witnessing Borden performing the “greatest trick” he’s ever seen, Angier attempts the trick himself and sets himself down a path he can’t return. The moment I love is when Borden interrupts the trick during one night, appearing at the other end of the stage. Knowing he has one upped his old friend, he then tells the audience to come and see his own transported man trick in a nearby theatre.
2) Interrogating the Joker – The Dark Knight
Just when you thought The Dark Knight couldn’t get any better, this one scene steps it up to another level. Batman/Gordon think they have the Joker under their control, but in this clever scene, the Joker shows that he’s in charge. When he subtly announces that Harvey Dent and Rachel are both missing, with time running out, not even the angry punches of Batman can hurt him. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is a terrifying portrayal of the clown prince of crime.
1) Zero Gravity Hallway Fight – Inception
I’m just going to let this scene do the talking.
Two things happened after seeing Inception – my love of Joseph Gordon-Levitt increased and that Nolan should have won an Oscar for this film.
There you have it – do you agree with my choices? If not, comment below!