In my opinion, the last shot of a movie has to be memorable and stick in the mind. I have accumulated a list of my personal favourite shots before the credits begin to roll. This is part 1 of a number of posts I will write.
Be warned they may contain spoilers!!!!
Here they are:
Elizabeth- In Shekhar Kapur’s biopic of the rise of the Virgin Queen , Elizabeth( Cate Blanchett in a career making role) walks into court in the Virgin Queen persona, married to her country having sacrificed personal happiness for the people. This final scene occurs after surviving opposition and assassination attempts to her asceneding to the throne throughout the film.Her intense and regal gaze as she walks towards the camera and takes a seat upon her throne signifies the metamorphosis from skittish girl to powerful queen, now fully aware of the duties that lie ahead of her.
Rebecca- In Hitchcock’s first venture into American movies, the last shot is both sly and ambiguous. Throughout the film, Joan Fontaine’s character has been tormented by the menacing Mrs Danvers who was obsessed with the first wife, the eponymous Rebecca and tried to drive the new wife away from her marriage to Laurence Olivier’s rich widower. The last shot happens after Danvers in a psychotic state burns down the country house and perishes in the process. The last shot is of Rebecca’s bed engulfed in flames. But the sly gesture is that the pillow features the initial R, hinting at the lingering and remaining presence of her even though Danvers is gone.
Dangerous Liaisons- I know that I’ve already wrote a review on this, but I didn’t want to write about the last scene because i didn’t want to spoil the movie. Anyway, The last shot of the period drama occurs after the vicious Marquise(Glenn Close at her most bitchy) is ousted by society after her treacherous and sordid personal life is revealed in detail. Because she is so good at hiding her inner viciousness, the last scene is very significant. In it she slowly removes her make-up from her face, an obvious reference to the mask of deceit she has worn so well. Glenn Close makes the scene memorable with her subtle nuances of her character, the one tear that falls and the bitter resentment, sadness and anger that is revealed on her face as she realises she is no longer in control and the one pulling the strings. A geniunely chilling end to the film.