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Best Scenes From Christopher Nolan Films | The Best Scenes Seen On Screen

Welcome to LRM Scenes. In each installment of this collaborative column, we will present our favorite scenes from a particular movie, from a notable director’s catalogue, or the theme may be something different altogether. These may be scenes that are pivotal to the film, or simply one that stuck out to us.

For our maiden voyage, we chose to highlight scenes from Christopher Nolan’s brilliant body of work. Nolan has made several wonderful films, each with numerous memorable scenes. However, one thing we decided on, was no scenes from Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, as we may give those films their own column in the coming weeks.

So, without further ado, let’s hop into what we feel are our favorite scenes from his body of work and why.

MacD:– My scene is from Christopher Nolan’s exquisite film, The Prestige. This film may be my favorite film ever. The Prestige is a film about two magicians who formerly worked together until an unfortunate incident caused them to have a massive falling out. Their rivalry then goes on to escalate to dangerous levels.

Oh did I mention the two magicians are played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman? Also joining them are Michael Caine, Andy Serkis, and a wonderfully surprising performance from the one and only David Bowie. If you haven’t seen this film, please do so at your earliest convenience, I find it to be a masterpiece of storytelling.

In the scene below, Hugh Jackman’s Robert Angier is recounting to his assistant the details of Alfred Borden’s new trick. Angier is in awe of just how good the trick is; this is where I think Angier begins to go over the edge. To me, this scene shows not only Angier’s obsession with Borden, but it also shows his fascination.

Kyle – What can one say about Nolan? A LOT! The director has made not just one or two masterpieces, he has made at least five by my count. He isn’t locked into a specific genre either, dabbling in science fiction, action, and comic book movies all while blending in genius level drama.

My first Nolan film was Memento. This is a superb movie starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss  and is about a Leonard (Pearce) seeking answers and justice for an attack that not only killed his wife, but left him unable to make new memories after the attack. In order to overcome this he tattoos important information about the case on his body and constantly keeps writing utensils and paper around him. You can imagine the type of life this would lead too and the type of people that may use this condition to their advantage.

My favorite scene is where Natalie (Moss) is attempting to use Leonard to handle a situation involving money and backstabbing. She comes into the room and removes all of the items Leonard could use to write things down and begins to insult him, his wife, and tells him exactly what her plans are. Moss delivers a hell of a performance filled with venom and disgust, and Pearce does an amazing job during an inner monologue showing pure fear and anxiety. The scene is intense and heartbreaking and makes you want to reach through the screen to throttle Natalie. It is a scene where facial expressions and body language are expertly utilized to enhance the dialogue and create an atmosphere rife with emotions.

My favorite scene is…

Stephon W – Nolan is a name synonymous with great filmmaking. The man is not only responsible for overhauling the modern take on the superhero, but also how we view narratives within filmmaking. It’s tough to pick a favorite scene when there are arguably so many to choose from spread out such fine movies. Narrowing it down, I’d have to choose the 2014 released movie, Interstellar.

In a film rife with scientific jargon, blackholes, and people stepping into higher dimensional Tesseracts to become ghosts to interact with those stuck in the physical lower planes of existence. Interstellar stands out amongst Nolan’s catalog. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also endorsed the film for visually realizing such concepts as Einstein’s Relativity of Time and Curvature of Space “as no other feature film has shown.”

Interstellar is a marvel to watch, and showcases the best in filmmaking. It is a profound example of quality genre Science Fiction grounded in the real world. My favorite scene’s going to be when Coop played by Matthew McConaughey arrives to Miller’s planet, accompanied by Anne Hathaway’s Dr. Amelia Brand and Wes Bentley’s Dr. Doyle. Why? Because the filmmakers turn scientific theories like time dilation and gravity and twist them into imagery that is both beautiful and horrific to watch.

Here’s the scene…

Doll – What about Inception, folks? I know a lot of people have turned on this film after its initial popularity after release, and that many mock the film for being too complicated in a pretentious way, with more science fiction mumbo-jumbo and rules than you can shake a stick at.

Yet, I sit here today, writing this, maintaining that Inception is Christopher Nolan’s best film outside of the Dark Knight Trilogy. The concept is too wild and wonderful not to get into, and Nolan brings his A-game as far as defying expectations and special effects, including the unforgettable spinning hallway scene. But, that’s not my favorite scene.

Nolan may have his best cast ever with Inception, including his regular gang of Award Winners including Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Then you’ve got Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page to round out the cast. Inception is Nolan’s most Nolan-y movie if you ask me, even more than Memento.

Now, I love action movies and action scenes, but I did not select one here, and I don’t see myself selecting them on Seth’s new column in future weeks either.

My favorite scene is what I feel is the movie’s real heart, and I’m not talking Leo’s relationship with the specter of his wife, or his urge to get home and see his children. It’s all about Cillian Murphy and his dying (well, dead outside his dreams) father.

Though it is false catharsis, as his encounter with his dying father at the last level of the dream dive is with one designed by Leo’s crew to convince Murphy’s character to dissolve his company using a positive encounter so it sticks, the scene still makes me cry. For Murphy’s character, it is real catharsis, a real final goodbye to a dreamed father who loved him more than his actual farther. When the pinwheel, teased throughout the film, comes out of the safe, I’m bawling, man. Murphy really sells it.

Too emotionally powerful a scene to overlook:

We hope you enjoyed what we find to be some of the best scenes in the films of Christopher Nolan. We certainly enjoyed putting this together for you.

What are some of your favorite scenes? Let us know in the comments down below!

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