Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies with Devastating Crushing Endings that Make You Want to Weep


This will be a short and sweet post as part of Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks this fine Thursday, as I am getting ready to fly to Denver tomorrow. Gotta pack, gotta get ready, gotta see My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks on Friday.

This week's theme is a tough one for me, actually, in that I usually cry at sweet, happy, uplifting films (see Field of Dreams, St. Vincent, Up!, Inside Out).

Devastating Crushing Endings of Sad movies don't usually require buckets. But a few have.


Here are my Thursday Movie Picks, and the moments that made me weep:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Dir. Milos Forman, 1975

SPOILER WARNING!! DON'T WATCH THE CLIP IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE!



That score though. And Christopher Lloyd screaming.

Leaving Las Vegas
Dir. Mike Figgis, 1995

SPOILER WARNING! DON'T WATCH THE CLIP IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE!



That score though. And Elisabeth Shue's face.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Dir. Behn Zeitlin, 2012

THIS IS JUST A TRAILER. YOU CAN WATCH. 



That voiceover though. That score. Chills as I type. Flood gates opening. 

20 comments:

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, that's very devastating; I love that pick!
    Beast of the Southern Wild might give me some thrill, but not so deep. Cheers :)

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    1. Totally on Cuckoo's Nest. Beasts of the Southern Wild destroyed me. I was weeping at the end.

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  2. Beasts! OMG that movie is so wonderful and sad. I really need to sit down and watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I've seen bits and pieces of it.

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    1. Definitely do it. So worth seeing! Nicholson and Fletcher are both incredible. Both deserving of their Oscar wins.

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  3. UGH Beasts of the Southern Wild. The movie is too fucking beautiful. Not devastating in any way for me. although it did make me cry. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is so great, too. Haven't seen Leaving Las Vegas yet, but it's on the list for soon.

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    1. Right? Not totally devastating but a little bit... I cried like a baby, so....

      Be ready for Leaving Las Vegas. It's fucking bleak. But beautiful.

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  4. Still have to see Beasts which I know is supposed to be an excellent movie. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest made me angry because of what happened but now I consider it brilliant. Leaving Las Vegas is so depressing but so good. Excellent choices

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    1. It's great. Definitely see Beasts. Not really "devastating" but quite emotionally effective. Thanks.

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  5. Interesting picks. Cuckoo's Nest is such a tragic tale and the ending can certainly be a waterworks. Leaving Las Vegas falls into the despairing category for me, I had trouble feeling for Cage's character but love Shue's work. But at the end I felt disgust rather then sadness. While I appreciated Beasts it didn't really engage me, perhaps I was in the wrong frame of mind, and the ending didn't really knock me out.

    This theme coming up on the heels of the film emotion blogathon made me ponder the difference between certain types of sad films, those that leave you with a feeling of sorrow rather then a feeling of despair or disgust. I interpreted the theme to apply to the former rather then the later. Even though I'm rarely if ever a crier at films I love the first type so here are mine geared towards that idea:

    It's My Party (1996)-Eric Roberts, in the best performance of his career, plays Nick Stark a man with AIDS who chooses to end his life when told by his doctor that he is entering the final stages of PML which will reduce him to a vegetative state prior to death. Before doing so though he throws one last big party to say goodbye to all his friends and family. Randal Kleiser, director of Grease, based this on personal experience and called on many industry friends to work for scale. The film is loaded with a star filled cast including Olivia Newton-John, Margaret Cho, Marlee Matlin, Lee Grant (wonderful as Roberts’ mother) and a host of others. Laced throughout with gallows humor this will still punch you in the gut by its conclusion.

    Running on Empty (1988)-In their youth protesting American involvement in the Vietnam War Arthur and Annie Pope (Judd Hirsch & Christine Lahti) bomb a napalm plant resulting in the blinding of a man who was there by mistake. They’ve been on the run ever since along with their two children. It's now sixteen years later and the musically gifted older son Danny (River Phoenix) longs to quit running and pursue his own dreams but his leaving will tear the family apart and he may never see them again. Can the family spare him and can he handle the loss if he decides to go? The film doesn't go for easy answers leading to an emotional workout. Phoenix was nominated for an Oscar and Lahti should have been.

    Dark Victory (1939)-Bette Davis plays Judith Traherne a headstrong somewhat reckless 24 year old heiress who lives life on her own terms until she starts suffering from crippling headaches. It's discovered she has a brain tumor and she has what appears to be successful surgery. During her recovery she falls for her handsome doctor and they plan a life together only for her to stumble across the fact that her prognosis is negative and she only has a short time to live. How she copes with that information fuels the rest of the movie. Beautifully acted with a poignant deeply moving final act.

    Honorable Mention-All Mine to Give (1957)-A young Scot couple (Glynis Johns & Cameron Mitchell) face many hardships as well as joys as they build a life in the logging town of Eureka, Wisconsin during the 1850’s, having six children along the way. When the family is hit by a succession of tragedies the mother extracts a promise from oldest son Robbie to secure the futures of his siblings. As Christmas approaches he sets out to fulfill her wish. The audience weeps. Based on a true story the British release title of this picture was “The Day They Gave Babies Away”.

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    1. I have seen none of your picks, and they all sound amazing. I'm especially interested in checking out Running on Empty.

      I totally hear you on this being lined up so perfectly with the emotion blogathon. It really had me thinking as well. I rarely cry, like I said, at sad. I usually cry at sweet and/or uplifting.

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  6. Damn, I haven't watched any of these!

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    1. All great. All made me cry...a lot.

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  7. I've heard of but seen, maybe because of the crushing sad part

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    1. These are all sad in their own ways. All brought tears.

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  8. So happy to see Beasts of the Southern Wild get a mention. I love all three of these movies, actually. Leaving Las Vegas is the toughest to watch because that starts in a bad place and just gets progressively worse from there. Great movie. Hard to watch, though.

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    1. Dude, I so love Beasts of the Southern Wild. Just a beautiful emotional ride of a film. Yes to what you say about LLV. Just brutally sad.

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  9. Great choices, Kevin! One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is perfect.

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  10. Haha...I think I titled this theme wrong, but you focused on the right keyword. Devastating was what I was going for. I should probably have title it soul crushing endings.

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    1. All of these crushed me in one way or another, so...

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