Good Scene / Bad Scene

Chosen by Isabel Coixet, the director of 'My Life Without Me'
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The Independent Culture

THE GOOD: The Age Of Innocence, Martin Scorsese, 1993

There is a love scene between Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Newland Archer (Daniel Day Lewis) that shows the gap between reality and desire in a very raw way. Nothing happens. They look at each other, and they try not to look at each other. Then we see them move closer, but this is only a projection of what Newland wants to happen. It helps us to see what they really feel in their oppressive world of high society New York at the end of the 19th century. You feel the same oppression. I have seen the film 12 times, and it always affects me. This imaginary scene is his and our wish.

THE BAD: Zoolander, Ben Stiller, 2001

This is a bad scene in a bad movie. It's exactly the opposite of my good scene because nothing about it is subtle. Ben Stiller, who is playing a stupid New York supermodel, is driving with friends, and they're singing the Wham! song "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go". They stop in a gas station and begin this silly choreography. They then splash gasoline on the car and on themselves, and one of them, because they are really dumb, smokes a cigarette and the whole gas station explodes. The song is one of the worst ever, and the situation is so silly it hurts. I don't know if it's ironic or they're simply making fools of themselves.