Best of the Decade: Ann Hornaday on top movie moments

Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Movie Critic
Friday, December 18, 2009; 12:30 PM

What were your favorite moments from the movies of the past decade? Post film critic Ann Hornaday discussed her top 10 list and your nominations.

A transcript follows.

Hornaday has been a film critic for the Post since 2002. Prior to that, she reviewed movies for the Baltimore Sun and the Austin-American Statesman.


Ann Hornaday: Hi everyone -- it's that time of year, er, decade again...Lists, lists and more lists! I've shared mine, now give me yours!


Fort Worth, TX: If the moment from "Once" doesn't move up on the list, then a lot of folks need to see it! Immediately! Tonight!

Ann Hornaday: Yay, another ONCE fan! Thanks for that shout-out for a little movie that re-defined the musical....And I might add, a film worth re-watching for the amazing camera work and technique. You'll feel like you've been to Dublin for a weekend with a lot of really funny, creative people and good music. Not a bad feeling for a snowy weekend!


Pentagon City, Va.: Maybe it's the holidays, but the scene in "Elf" where Will Ferrell confronts the department-store Santa... "you stink, you smell like beef and cheese." Instant classic.

Ann Hornaday: Yes, yes! I was just talking with a friend (okay, my hairdresser, the genius Bethany) about our mutual love of ELF. That movie really has wormed its way into the classic holiday canon -- which reminds me that I haven't watched it yet this year. Thanks for the reminder!


Olney, Md.: The only movie on this list that I've seen is Junebug. So I'll counter with another Amy Adams moment--cleaning up the apartment or the big How Will You Know number in Central Park. Loved them both.

I also loved Kevin Kline & Sigourney Weaver kissing at the end of Dave while Ving Rhames guarded the door! Nice happy ending.

Ann Hornaday: Ah, yes! I also adored Ms. Adams in ENCHANTED, and those songs were deeelish. But for people who have recently discovered her in that movie and JULIE & JULIA, they really should check out JUNEBUG. Her work in that film is just heartbreaking. Sigh.


Salisbury, Md.: What about that long tracking shot of the beach in Atonement: captured the war, the soldiers, the story in one increasingly compelling stream of events.

Ann Hornaday: You know what, I had that on my initial list, but realized I was a little heavy on tracking shots (I'm a sucker for them), but I wholeheartedly agree with you about that amazing, affecting sequence. Just breathtaking. As it happens I'm reading the novel THE LAST STATION, about Leo Tolstoy, right now, and last night came to a passage about those battle scenes in WAR AND PEACE -- and was reminded of that scene in ATONEMENT. Thanks for bringing it up!


San Francisco: The life montage in "UP"

Ann Hornaday: Yep. Yep, yep, yep.


Silver Spring, Md.: You place too much emphasis on North American and European movies, which is inexcusable if you consider yourself a true film connoisseur in this day and age. Some of the best film moments of the past decade took place, in my opinion, in films made in East Asia and Latin America. Here are some I thought were among the best.

Yi Yi: The whole movie, to be honest with you. The finesse and incredible visual beauty of the film sticks with me years after having watched it. The scene that stands out the most, and the one that made me think, wow, this is a film for the ages, happens roughly in the middle, when the wife of the Taiwanese protagonist has an existential nervous breakdown after her mother has a heart attack. The scene is juxtaposed with a domestic violence fight happening next door superimposed by outdoor traffic. Sheer genius, demonstrating the pain and the ecstasy of life all rolled into one deftly constructed mise-en-scene.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The gloriously intricate fighting scenes in the walled courtyard and on roofs at night-time in the beginning, the brawl in the restaurant in the middle, and the incredible sword fight in the house courtyard nearing the end of the film.

Y Tu Mama Tambien: The scenes of death, love, lust and complexities of sexuality that occur immediately during and after the drunken menage-a-trois, and before the end of the film.

The Son: This Belgian gem also struck a chord with me. The best scenes happen at the beginning, when the protagonist realizes that his son's murderer is one of his students in his workshop class, though the audience is only given the most subtle of clues about this. Expository film making at its best.

The Pianist: When the protagonist shuffles around a completely bombed out Warsaw, Poland with a giant can of tomato soup, filthy and in tatters, dazed, confused and clown-like. Very Samuel Beckett.

Frozen River: A great depiction of the poor in North America. The best scene is when the protagonist accidentally tosses a baby out onto the frozen-over river in the middle of a winter night, and the subsequent search for the child before it freezes to death.

The Queen: The scene where Tony Blair meets the Queen for the first time after he's been voted Prime Minister. Hilarious.

Lan Yu: This is the third Chinese film on this list (the Chinese have been doing a better job with film than most North American and some European directors/producers/writers this past decade, in my opinion). The best scene is when the protagonist rescues and consoles his lover during the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Up: The first twenty minutes. Have never seen the life cycle compressed in such a heart-achingly tender manner.

28 Days Later: The last twenty minutes, when the protagonists realize that the cruelty and violence inflicted by normal humans on other normal humans during times of duress can be even more horrifying than what "inhuman" zombies can dish out.

These are the best scenes I can think of in most genres (except musicals, which I really don't like to see). I wanted to include Wall-E, which I just adored, and Pan's Labyrinth, which was amazing. But there was not enough room.

I hope this wasn't too long.


Ann Hornaday: This says it so well I'm just going to publish without a comment except for "hear hear."


Honolulu, HI: Best moment in film of the decade: The opening 5 minutes of "Up".

Ann Hornaday: And another vote for UP!


Seattle: Other Great Moments 2000-2009

-The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The Battle of Helms Deep

-Kill Bill, Part I - the fight in a snow paying homage to "Confessions of a Chinese Concubine"

-Stardust - Evaine declares her love to Tristan...while he is still a mouse

-District 9 - Charles Johnston discovers his people have been experimented upon

-Bridget Jones Diary - Hugh Grant and Colin Firth fighting rather poorly

-Donnie Darko - the "Mad World" scene at the end, where he realizes he must die in the past to save his love

-Hedwig & the Angry Inch - The "Wig in a Box" Number

Ann Hornaday: Really interesting list, and good moments -- I almost put that DONNIE DARKO montage on my list (that and the "Wise Up" montage from MAGNOLIA), but....well, you just gotta choose. But I'm a huge fan of DONNIE DARKO and Gary Jules's haunting rendition of "Mad World." Y'all should check out Gary's albums, which are stellar! And if he's ever in your town, go see him play, he's wonderful!


Seattle: The Revolution will not be televised - I don't like Hugo Chavez, but an Irish Documentary Crew found themselves in the middle of an attempted coup d'etat and kept filming. The new Gov't came in and the new Attorney General stated emphatically on TV that the new civil rights that Chavez brought in were a hindrance and not necessary. A few hours later, the Presidential Guard (after languishing in the Parking Lot without orders) stormed in and retook the Presidential Palace. Later in the basement of the presidential palace, the Chavez Attorney General comes in to the man who would taken his job (and probably killed), and tell him to his face:

"I am here to inform you, that your rights under the current Constitution are intact."

You couldn't write that in fiction, but it happened in a documentary.

Ann Hornaday: Thanks so much for this -- and I agree that THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED is a powerful film, regardless of your views on Chavez himself. It's a really potent illustration of the power of media and how it can be manipulated to any end. A great tutorial in the importance of media literacy!


15th and K-Submitting early: Thanks, Ann as always, for doing these chats! Please let me know if you would rank these on the top 10 of the decade:

Children of Men

The Fountain

The Prestige

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring (Out of Korea, I believe)

The Dark Knight

I am a little obsessed with Hugh Jackman, but I do believe he is one terrific and amazing actor. Thanks, and I hope you have a great holiday!!

Ann Hornaday: Howdy neighbor -- and thanks for this provocative list! Of all those films, I think my favorite is CHILDREN OF MEN (for my Top Ten of the Decade, I'm afraid you'll have to wait till it's published on Dec. 27)...Although as time goes by I have more and more affection for THE FOUNTAIN; I think it probably qualifies as a flawed masterpiece. But I really admire its ambition and feeling...And I share your love of all things Hugh, he's so gifted. Loved him on the Oscars this year!


Reston, Va.: I've only seen one of those movies in your poll. Am I deficient?

Ann Hornaday: Of course not, you just lead a rich and interesting life! Please send us your favorite movies/moments, I know we'd be enlightened! (Oh and include which movie on the list you *did* see!)


Western Washington: Ann,

How about "No Country for Old Men" when Javier Bardem flips a coin in front a shopkeeper, and the shopkeeper knows this guy is bad news, so he says whatever he can to stall.

I can remember it right now.

Ann Hornaday: Okay I'm just going to come right out and say it: I'm not a huge fan of NCFOM. Not because it wasn't an extremely well-made and well-acted movie -- it was. I just thought it was really mannered and fetishized violence in a way I found tiresome...That said, I do remember the scene of which you speak, which itself speaks volumes for the virtuosity of all involved. So point taken. Friendo.


Silver Spring, Md.: Jack Black's plea to be untied from the tree in Tropic Thunder and Tom Cruise's cameo in that movie most certainly trump the I'm the Dude speech for the movie moments from that fine picture.

Ann Hornaday: Well said, sir or madam! I too adored Tom Cruise's inspired cameo in TT...and that opening scene of the effects going off while an actor is having a "moment" ... pretty much all of that movie! Had to pick one!


SW DC: No Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter? Nothing from The Dark Knight? I'd certainly put the pencil magic trick on any list of memorable moments (usually when I'm asleep around three a.m. for that last one).

Ann Hornaday: You know what, I had THE MATRIX, as well as THE SIXTH SENSE, on the list until my producer reminded me they were 1999 movies, and we started this list in 2000...I guess if I were to choose a moment from POTC, it would be when Johnny Depp is fighting and cheats, then shrugs and says, "Pirate." (Is that right????)...I'll say out loud on line that I'm not a huge fan of the HARRY POTTER or LORD OF THE RINGS series, or THE DARK KNIGHT, so I'll have to ask the chatters to weigh in on those! (If I haven't just cleared the room.)


Los Angeles: Scandal! The pit bull chasing Josh Brolin across the river in "No Country For Old Men," the sword fight in the bamboo trees in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Jack Nicholson's realization at the end of "About Schmidt" that his $5 donations have helped Ndugu and so his life isn't pointless, and about five different emotions roll across his face -- any one of these could knock off anything from the middling "Tropic Thunder" or "25th Hour." And the best scene in "Children of Men" is the unbroken tracking shot as all the soldiers standing aside in awe as Clive Owen descends the stairs with the baby.

Ann Hornaday: Aha! Goodies, all! Op cit my affection for tracking shots vis-a-vis ATONEMENT; the reason I chose the ping-pong ball car scene was that I didn't realize the first time I saw it that it had been filmed in one unbroken take, whereas the tracking shot -- while magnificent -- was a bit more self-conscious. But love 'em both, and loved that entire movie.


Rockville, Md.: Sorry that this question is slightly off-topic, but what in the world made you (or the Post's assignment editor) think it was a good idea to interweave reviews of two dissimilar movies. I'd venture to say that Avatar and The Young Victoria will appeal to totally different audiences, with little or no overlap between the two. Trying to read the review of the one I was interested in was like wading through a pile of laundry trying to find the matching socks.

Ann Hornaday: Thank you for the comment! We've been trying to shake it up in our Friday Style section, broadening the conversation to themes or elements in movies that might resonate in an unexpected way....But your objection is duly noted. As someone who routinely mixes Argyles and stripes, I find any form of feedback welcome!


Alexandria, Va.: I liked Harry Potter finally producing a patronus charm in Prisoner of Azkaban. Just about any moment from "The Lives of Others" should be considered, it's my favorite movie of the decade by a mile.

Ann Hornaday: Let the record reflect that THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who did two of my faves of the decade: Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN and the oft-cited CHILDREN OF MEN. Just sayin'!

As for THE LIVES OF OTHERS, I agree wholeheartedly. What a terrific movie that was...And such a great example of a trend in German cinema recently of making movies that come to grips with the country's past in a really nuanced, honest way. Thanks for that shout-out.


Arlington, Va.: I'm SO glad you included a mention of Children of Men. I saw that in the theater (what, 4 years ago?) and it still haunts me. Remember that scene where the soldiers see the baby and they all just stop shooting and some even fall to their knees? I just put the film on my Netflix queue, and I'm interested to see how I'll react since I now have a child of my own. Hands down that was one of the best movies of the decade.

Ann Hornaday: And another vote for CHILDREN OF MEN, I am *so happy* to hear people saw that movie! It redeems my faith in cinema! And more important, audiences!


Gaithersburg, Md.: Wow, no LOTR trilogy on your list? No Brokeback Mountain or Pan's Labryinth? Maybe these movies don't lend themselves to individual moments, so how about Borat and friend wrestling on the bed or Dory speaking whale in Finding Nemo.

Ann Hornaday: I was thisclose to putting the wrestling scene from BORAT on the list, so thanks for that -- and I also was going to include that amazing shot of the creature in PAN'S LABYRINTH opening his hands to reveal the eyes in his palm...But I didn't. So I'm glad you did! (As for BROKEBACK, I'd say my favorite moment is Heath going to Jake's closet at the end, with the shirt....Sob city.)


Los Angeles: My favorite moment is the shot of the zeppelin flying by in "Synechdoche New York"

Ann Hornaday: Ahhhhhh! Love it!


Brooklyn NY: Is James Cameron responsible for the awful screenplays to his big screen 3 hour long video games? Is there someone else to blame?

Ann Hornaday: Ha! I'm afraid he is...And I agree, his dialogue is *not* his strong suit. Structurally he knows how to spin a good yarn, even if he does hew to a sort of formulaic structure...But some of those lines, ouch!


Baltimore: Funniest movie: 40 Year Old Virgin or Knocked up.

Ann Hornaday: If that's a question, I'll vote for VIRGIN, but I think my favorite Apatow movie so far is this year's FUNNY PEOPLE...and if we're counting movies he produced, I'd vote for SUPERBAD and FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. But that's just me!


Richmond, Va.: My favorite movie of the decade: "Me and You and Everyone We Know" by Miranda July. I've since read her Book of Short Stories and am eagerly awaiting her future work. Her combination of cynicism and poignancy at the same time is so effective and real.

Ann Hornaday: Good, good, good! Such an interesting movie, and such a right-on depiction of the art world (among other things)...I wish she'd do another movie; IMDB lists one in development, hope it comes to fruition!


Morristown, NJ: Best movie of the decade, or the one that has stayed with me the longest, is The Lives of Others. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

Ann Hornaday: Another vote for LIVES! You chatters have the very best taste!


Bronx NY: Was the 1970s the last decade America made excellent commercial movies for adults ?

Ann Hornaday: It seems that way, doesn't it? I actually did a story earlier this year (we're linking to it) explaining why Hollywood is shying away from adult dramas, although they do manage to make them, especially when a top actor puts his name and salary behind them. The best example is George Clooney, who got the terrific MICHAEL CLAYTON and this year's UP IN THE AIR made...But in this youth-driven market, movies for grown-ups are indeed harder to get produced. The future may reside in video-on-demand, since that's where adults seem to want to consume their films. Stay tuned.

_______________________ Something's Out of Line for Hollywood and Grown-Ups

Ann Hornaday: here's the link:


What about LOTR?: Hi Ann,

I know these lists are hard, and I appreciate the Milkshake scene and the Wall-E opening might deserve the number one slot but...

I can think of at least eight scenes from the LOTR trilogy that would beat out the rest of your list. I won't bore you with them all but here's a taste, one from each film...

- The opening montage of LOTR that tells the story of Saron and the Ring.

- The wide panning shot of the Orcs massed in the rain in front of Helm's deep just before the battle begins.

- The story of Gollum montage that opens LOTR ROTK

- The energy beam scene as the Witch King of Angmar decamps from Minas Morgul and The Orc captain stepping out of the way of the rock then spitting on it during the battle of Minas Tirith in LOTR ROTK. (I know I promised one per movie, but those two are up there with the Milkshake scene in TWBB.

Good Lord, I just realized I'm a geek AND a nerd... OK, Merry Holidays and thanks for remembering Children of Men, that may be the most overlooked/underappreciated film of the decade.

Ann Hornaday: Okay Lord of the Rings fans, here's your fodder:


Charles Town, W.V.: Ann, I'm so glad you're back for a chat! Is this a one-time-only thing, or will the movie chat return as a regular feature for 2010?

Please tell the powers that be at the Post that the masses are clamoring for a return of a real movie chat--that 24-hour thing just isn't the same.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Ann Hornaday: Hello Charles Town -- one of my favorite day trips in the area! -- and thanks for the kind words! I too miss the chats and really hope that we can find a way to bring them back one day...Your mouth to the powers-that-be's ears, and fingers crossed! Thanks again!


Reston, Va.: You rank the opening of "Wall-E" higher than the opening of "Up"? Those ten near-silent minutes at the beginning of "Up" were absolutely incredible.

Those ten minutes, and the scene where he leafs through the completed scrap book, has to qualify it as a top ten movie.

Ann Hornaday: I really agonized between those two extraordinary sequences. I chose WALL*E because it came first, and really broke the ice, if you will, on how effective that kind of silent filmmaking can be...But an arbitrary decision on my part, because I dearly love both of them!


Takoma Park: "Almost Famous" when the band and the groupies all sing "Tiny Dancer" together!

Ann Hornaday: Noted!


Annandale, Va.: Ann, where's your list of movies (as opposed to movie moments)? Can your producer please link to it? You'll have to wait until next week.

Ann Hornaday: The Top Movies of the Decade will appear on Sunday, Dec. 27. ... Sharpen those knives! (Or at least virtual pencils.)


Harrisburg, Pa.: We miss your chats, Ann! Great list of scenes; I would probably add one more- the scene that follows the happy marriage of Ellie and Walter in "UP". For the "ping-pong car scene" from "Children of Men," is that the extended take of driving backwards from the ambush? Because that ranks right up there. "25th" scene is good, but as raw and in your face as it is, the mirror scene is what I keep remembering about that film.

Ann Hornaday: Yes, the take before the ambush. Goose-bumps. And the reason for that moment in 25TH HOUR is that, according to my memory at least, it was maybe the first time a fiction film had used the post-9/11 landscape in such an integrated way...It reminded me of the World War II movies of the Italian neo-realists, and the way they used the ruins of Rome...I just found it very powerful and profound, and thought Spike Lee did a really masterful job of at addressing it....For that matter, the whole 'what if' sequence at the end of 25TH HOUR still rates as a great one, too!


Cleveland: Perhaps in the comedy category, I'd suggest the last scene in "The Hangover," when the photos are shown. Such a great climax and ending - I was crying with laughter.

Ann Hornaday: I think that was my favorite part (aside from the room itself the next day, but I'd seen that in the trailer). Mike Tyson/Phil Collins? Anyone?


McLean, Va.: The lists and suggestions so far really show the genius of Pixar (Up, WALL-E). So I'd like to add another classic moment from yet another Pixar film: when the critic in "Ratatouille" takes a bite of the titular dish and experiences a flashback to his childhood.

Ann Hornaday: Oh thanks for this -- and to be totally self-serving, may I add that that scene, more than anything written or said by anyone, ever, most accurately portrayed the experience of the critic? I just *loved* that! And I second your "genius of Pixar" comment. They are/It is.


Baltimore, Md.: Leonardo Dicaprio and the social security numbers in the Departed. Such an intense sequence. Also, Mark Wahlberg showing up at Matt Damon's apartment and ending the carnage with the rat in front of the state house..Fantastic!

Ann Hornaday: Loved the rat! Loved that movie! How about Jack's deathless line when the guy tells him his mother is "on her way out": "We all are. Act accordingly." Yeeesssss!


Montreal, Canada: I think an even better scene from "Once" is the one where they're singing together for the first time, doing "Falling Slowly" in the music store. You can just watch him falling in love with her!

I seem to have a thing for "quirky, singing" scenes. Two others popped into my mind:

The karaoke scene in "Lost in Translation," where Bill Murray sings "More Than This" to Scarlett Johansson. (And his version of the song is NOT on the soundtrack CD!!)

The scene in "Lars and the Real Girl" where Ryan Gosling is lying on his back in the treehouse, singing "L-O-V-E" to Bianca.

Ann Hornaday: Oh we're on teh same beam! I wanted to put Bill singing "More Than This," but I had too many music moments so I cut it. So thanks for putting it in! (I'm a big LARS fan, too, so good on you for reminding us of that wonderful movie.)


Roseland, NJ: Although the opening sequence to WALL-E is clever filmmaking, I would have gone with one later in the film: when Eve finds the logic circuit to fix Wall-E, reboots him, but discovers that she's brought him back as a soulless automaton that doesn't even recognize her. Just thinking about her softly cooing "It Only Takes a Moment" into his dead eyes breaks my heart all over again.

Ann Hornaday: OK now you guys are making me cry...


Um Hello: How can you forget The Joker's "Magic Trick" in The Dark Knight.....LEGENDARY entrance for a now legendary actor

Ann Hornaday: OK, another vote for the Ticonderoga # 2....


Hyattsville, Md.: I second the life montage in "Up". Also, the moment in "Lives of Others" when the playwright's wife runs into the street.

Ann Hornaday: Good -- and now that we're running out of time, chatters, I might just run your comments with a minimum of blah-blah.


SW, DC: The fight between the women in Hero -- all those lush yellows and reds. From the same film, the death of Jet Li's character was devastating and brilliant.

I have to say, so many of my moments are little visuals.

Ennis del Mar alone with his dead lover's clothes, for instance.

Ann Hornaday: Ah, an overlooked gem! Thanks!


Towson: The Super-Freak dance at the End of Little Miss Sunshine and the VW van. I've never laughed so hard in my entire life while at the same time being inspired by a family coming together

Ann Hornaday: Thanks Towson!


Rhode Island : A little off topic, but...After reading reviews of Crazy Heart, and planning on getting snowed in, I'm thinking Jeff Bridges film festival. So many top scenes...

Ann Hornaday: So right, and having seen CRAZY HEART, I'm thinking the very same thing. Hope "Fearless" is on your list, now *that's* a terrific movie...


Arlington, Va.: Hi Ann. First I'd like to say your reviews have been terrific lately. I'm really enjoying how you compare and contrast two new releases and add a true critical context to the films. I feel like I learn something about film in every review.

My question is about Nine. Tony Scott of the NY Times was on Charlie Rose last night and said it was a "catastrophe" and "unwatchable." Have you seen it yet? That bad? Its one I've really been looking forward to.

Ann Hornaday: Hey thanks Arlington! As I said, we've been trying to do things a little bit differently, so it's nice to know someone out there is chiming with it...And at the risk of tipping my hand a little bit early on NINE, let's just say...Let's just say that Tony and I disagree on very little. Very, very little.


Montreal, Canada (again): The opening life montage in "Up" might possibly be the best opening of the decade, but the best last scene of the decade has to be the bookstore scene in "The Lives of Others."

The ex-Stasi agent is buying a copy of a book by the writer he spied upon, which is dedicated to his old Stasi ID number. The clerk asks him if he wants it wrapped as a gift, and the ex-agent says, "No, it's for me." The camera freezes briefly on Ulrich Muhe's face...and it's just perfect.

Ann Hornaday: Oh lord. Chills. BTW, if you haven't already, check out Martina Gedeck in THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, another amazing movie...And since we've been loving LIVES so much during this chat, let's raise our glasses to the memory of Ulrich Muhe. A great one, gone way too soon.


Nerdville: What about the awesome dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite??

Ann Hornaday: And linked, for our enjoyment! Thanks!


San Francisco: That last scene in Sideways-when Paul Giamatti walks up to Maya's front door and knocks on it. He's had an awful year and is lonely and depressed, but he manages to set aside his despair and goes to see this woman. Most of the time, knocking on a person's front door ain't no big deal, but the way this scene is filmed you can almost sense his fear and discomfort...but he works through it and literally reaches out-hope springs eternal. And then it just fades to black.

Ann Hornaday: Yes...


Virginia: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The choreographed martial arts were beautiful to watch and while they eventually got played out by other lesser touching stories, I feel like when this movie came out, they were original!

Ann Hornaday: Definitely...


Richmond, Va.: My favorite scene from my favorite movie of the Decade--"Me and You and Everyone We Know"--is a spoiler, so I'll just say it's the poignant moment when one character acknowledges just how badly she wants to connect with someone... anyone... really connect.

Ann Hornaday: Another Miranda fan...


Highland Park, NJ: How about Almost Famous, when Kate Hudson is told that her rock star boyfriend "sold" her to another band for beer. "What kind of beer?"

And Julie Delpy imitating Nina Simone in the last moments of Before Sunset. "Baby, you are gonna miss that plane!"

Ann Hornaday: Loved Julie too, thanks!


Washington, DC: Fave movie moment of the decade: All of Pan's Labyrinth!

Just kidding, sorta. Also, the end of Lord of the Rings 2, when they blow the horn and ride out as Gandalf comes with the reinforcements. Chills.

Also, Johnny Depp in Pirates 2: "Hello, beastie"

Ann Hornaday: Hey no kidding, I agree about PAN'S LAB! Thankee!


Annapolis, Md.: I think the best "moment" in Tropic Thunder is the DVD commentary by RDJ. If I'd only seen this movie in theaters, I would have been cheated.

Ann Hornaday: I'm so behind, I haven't even seen/heard that...Perfect snow-weekend fodder, thanks!


Arlington, Va.: How about Will Ferrell's unexpected (for me, at least!) cameo at the end of Wedding Crashers? His entire role in that film just made the movie, which was already destined to be a classic.

Ann Hornaday: Yes! And while we're at it, just a quick shout out to ANCHORMAN! Loved!


Alexandria, Va.: How about "The Hangover" as funniest movie of the decade? At least top five. Acting and script way above the norm for this type of flick.

Ann Hornaday: Okaaay....


Washington, DC: I vote for the opening shot of Lost in Translation. And no, this isn't Weingarten...probably not.

Ann Hornaday: I get it. I'm with you. No shame here.


Bethesda, MD: Let the Right One In was awesome. Definitely in my top 10 of the decade. Bunch of good scenes. I just realized I think I need to see it again.

Ann Hornaday: Thanks for this one!


Vince in Vienna: You know what? I am a big fan of the genre (I read only Sci Fi books), but I did not like Children of Men. It could have been a great movie with some changes. I haven't seen that many movies from the last decade, so I'll go with Million Dollar Baby, where she breaks her neck.

Ann Hornaday: Fighting words in this room, my friend, but stake your claim proudly!


Richmond, Va.: What, no mention of "Adaptation"?! That movie was so complex and funny on so many levels.

Ann Hornaday: Agree, and nothing wrong with ETERNAL SUNSHIN OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, either. Or BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. Thanks!


Lives of Others: Any moment from the movie. I'm getting choked up just remembering it.

Ann Hornaday: You and me both. And all of us, apparently!


Alexandria, Va.: The final scene in "Gone Baby Gone."

The opening scene of Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Coraline proposing a game to the witch in "Coraline."

The main character knocking on wood to get the ghost-children to come out, in The Orphanage.

Ann Hornaday: Got it, got it, got it....


House of Sand and Fog: the scene where his son is shot and he goes to the hospital...Ben Kingsley is awesome!!!

Ann Hornaday: Good one!


Atlanta: I don't know. I think the better "Once" moment is when Marketa sees him singing "Say It to Me Now" on the side of the street for the first time. Or when the recording studio tech realizes how insanely good Hansard's band is when they're recording "When Your Mind's Made Up." I actually thought the scene with Marketa singing in her slippers was kind of boring after a while.

Ann Hornaday: Loved the producer perking up!! Loved it! And the beach scene afterward!


New Haven: Did anybody besides me adore Look at Me by Agnes Jaoui? Favorite moment, probably when Lolita and her teacher are wandering around the church singing their hearts out, but also the final scene when Lolita realizes her father walked out on her concert, then runs after Sebastien.

Ann Hornaday: For the record, chatters...


Boston: The Russian bath fight scene in 'Eastern Promises' is amazing.

David Cronenberg really knows how to do sex and violence on film without making it exploitative (see also the sex on the stairs scene in 'History of Violence' - wow.)

Ann Hornaday: Viggo rules...


Fairfax, VA: How about that moment at the end of "DaVinci Code" when the audience realizes the movie is over and they start demanding the last 2 hours of their lives back?

Ann Hornaday: Couldn't say it better myself...


Arlington, VA: I loved the scene in the Queen where Helen Mirren is looking at the flowers lying in front of the palace and the cameras are clicking in the background.

Ann Hornaday: Good one!


Ann Hornaday: Chatters, you're all Lovely & Amazing. (Hey, another wonderful movie from the past decade!) Happy cinema to you all, stay warm and safe this weekend and thanks a million-million for sharing your time and wisdom with me. It's always an honor and a pleasure!


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