In our first of two Best Ending installments, we concentrate on the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, movies which typically finish with fascinating, fantastic flair.
It's that time of the year again. Eleven months have magically flown by and we are at the end of another date on the calendar, another number in our aging life, and for us film critics, another over hyped and amplified awards season. The films are flying by at a rate so rapid that only the most skilled of journalists can keep up. It's a whirlwind of promises and passes, of the highly anticipated and the shouldn't-have-bothered. Among the many movies vying for our attention right now is the latest from Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis. An amazing work of playful period piece commentary, the brothers' focus on the Greenwich Village scene pre-Bob Dylan remains a delightfully demented puzzle box. Even the finale, which finds our hero being brought back to the point where we first met him, reminds us that, in the world of these Oscar winner auteurs, the last word is just as important as the first.
With the film finally opening in theaters this week, we started thinking - what are some of the best endings in the history of cinema. You know, the moments where a movie pays off, not only plot wise, but in spirit and subtext as well. Going over our eventual list, we soon realized that this undertaking required a bit of bifurcation, since in the Coens' case, almost every one of their films finishes in a way which enhanced everything that came before. So before we look at the rest of the motion picture possibilities, and in celebration of Inside Llewyn Davis, we thought we'd break up the category into two parts. First up, the 10 Best Endings in Cinema (Coen Brothers Edition). With so many great to classic films at our disposal, the guys didn't make it easy. In fact, when faced with the daunting task of whittling down our original list to a mere handful, we realized just how important a last moment in a movie really is. The conclusion may just be the most important part of any entertainment.
Concentrating on the Coens only then, here is what we've come up with: