Best New Year's Eve movie scenes
There's no New Year's Eve parties this year, so watch these instead.
2020 was a stinker of a year, with many of us glad to see the back of the thing. That doesn't mean that 2021 will instantly be better but at least there's vaccinations and hope on the horizon. Given much of the world is in some sort of lockdown, the celebrations this New Year's Eve will no doubt be slight so we will instead have to get our celebratory kicks from the small screen.
But New Year holds a lot of promise, cinematically. It's a time for new starts, pig parties and, thanks usually to a lot of booze and a need for affection, big confessions. It's a night full of excitement, apprehension and heightened emotion.
Here are 11 of the most memorable New Year scenes in movies, from the desperately romantic to the romantically desperate, and with more than one death...Happy New Year?
Best New Year's Eve movie scenes
1. Ghostbusters II
All of the Ghostbusters sequel's finale is set on New Year's Eve, as spooky, painting-dwelling ghost Vigo attempts to return to the mortal world. But the best scene is this sequence in which the scourges of spirit kind hitch a lift on the Statue of Liberty and ride her to glory through the streets of New York, starting a party as they go.
2. When Harry Met Sally
Come midnight on New Year's Eve, many of us are struggling to string a coherent sentence together. In Rob Reiner's majestic romantic comedy, Harry (Billy Crystal) waits until the stroke of midnight to tell Sally (Meg Ryan) everything he's felt about her for years but never quite said. And it's one of the best speeches in cinema.
3. The Apartment
Another romantic comedy that concludes at the beginning of a new year. Makes sense, really. New beginnings. New loves. Booze. In this, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) realises at a New Year party that her affair with a married man is never going to be fulfilling and runs all the way to CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon), the office drone who's been providing a flat for the adulterous relationship. The final line is still a killer.
4. The Phantom Thread
PT Anderson does it again when it comes to New Year. While Bogie Nights showed a night of debauchery, The Phantom Thread shows a night that's all about being ostentatious. The result is one of the most stunning-looking scenes in cinema history.
5. Boogie Nights
Signalling the end of the year, the decade and an era of unbridled hedonism for the adult movi stars in Paul Thomas Anderson's astonishing drama, one character sees in the New Year with the end of his life.
6. The Godfather, Part II
One of the saga's pivotal moments takes place on the cusp of a new year. At the President's New Year celebration, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) lets his brother Fredo (John Cazale) know that he knows he is the man who's trying to have him killed. Then he seals his fate with a kiss.
7. Sunset Boulevard
Faded silent movie star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) slowly loses her marbles in Billy Wilder's grand drama. Her slipping grip on sanity and dignity is particularly highlighted in a scene where she invites accidental house guest Joe (William Holden) to a New Year's Eve party, then reveals that they're the only guests. A romantic end is tragically unlikely.
The same scene in the original is equally worthy of inclusion, but if the flawed remake had a great strength it was the moment that the huge cruise ship flooded and became the playground for a race against death. And no, we're not just putting this in here for the moment that Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas has a bit of a weep and then gets washed away. Don't be so cynical.
9. Trading Places
We're really enjoying the Eddie Murphy resurgence right now - with Dolemite Is My Name and his stint on SNL, but this is still one of the funniest lines from the days when Eddie Murphy was consistently incredible.
10. The Gold Rush
One of the most famous moments in cinema occurs during a scene in which a lonely gold prospector (Charlie Chaplin) fantasises about hosting a New Year's Eve party for the woman he loves. Then he amuses them with an elegant little dance with bread roll feet. But then he wakes up alone...
11. The Hudsucker Proxy
It all gets too much for Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins), an eager graduate who found himself installed as head of Hudsucker Industries, then sucked in and spat out by the corporate world. When it all goes wrong, he climbs to the top of the company tower on New Year's Eve intent on killing himself. But his plan doesn't go as intended.
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