Breaking Emotions: Tears and Surprise


Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump just has that thing that actually got me to choke a little bit, and it is not something I do at all. Starting from the scene where Forrest is introduced to his son and asking Jennie is Forrest Jr was slow like his dad or smart was sad, but if you thought it couldn’t get more depressing you were intensely mistaken. It got more heartbreaking when Forrest stands at Jenny’s grave, talking to her about their son, and how smart he is, and how he is brushing his hair, his teeth and all those things, and how he is smarter than Forrest can keep up with. It was just the way the scene was presented, how raw and honest it was that just gets you every time. There was beauty in it as well as sadness.


50/50 (2011)
This whole movie was filled with laughs and drama and sad things and good things, but there is a scene in it where it all gets too much and you sort of sit with the “dammit why?!” thing going for you. Adam Lerner is diagnosed with an incredibly rare cancer in his spine: schwannoma neurofibrosarcoma, and that he only has a fifty percent chance of living. His best friend Kyle tries to go through everything with him, and is there far more for his friend than even his crazy now-ex-girlfriend was. However, when it get to time to go into surgery, Adam speaks to his father and breaks down at the medical staff and his mother about his worries about not waking up again and his mother tries to comfort him. The scene itself is short, but it is pretty sad altogether. He has spent an entire movie holding his stuff together and this is one of two places where the cracks really just push themselves forward, demanding to be seen.

The Green Mile (1999)
This was one of those absolutely beautiful movies that just had so much going on for it. However, the way the movie goes is just plain down depressing. John Coffey, the monstrosity of a man brought to the prison and accused of butchering two little girls is awful, but it is worse when you discover the beautiful gift that he has, as well as how incredibly humble he is. There is almost nothing that John Coffey does for himself, and is such a selfless man. He is killed, however, even after they discover that he was not responsible for the little girls’ slayings, but the wildcracker prisoner Billy The Kid. Just the way that all the guards insisted on being there for John Coffey’s execution as his friends and not jail keepers was beautiful, though that he was to be killed still rankles. The whole scene was sad enough as it is, but was worsened when sadistic and horrible prison guard Percy fries Coffey deliberately and savagely. The stunning soul left the world with no dignity whatsoever.

the green mile john coffey execution


Fight Club (1999)
I know that this movie is sure to be on a lot of lists but this was one of those movies that brought a fresh reveal to the table, and it was unforgettable. To this day it was one of the more iconic plot twists of all time. At the end of all that Project Mayhem was and the havoc that was wreaked, the Narrator learns that Tyler Durden is in actual fact an alternate personality of his. Nowhere throughout the course of the movie did I expect this, it really was a total blow that just knocked me off my feet. Just the way that it is all presented and laid out eventually is fantastic and it never gets old, no matter how many times you see the film!

fight club narrator and tyler

Shutter Island (2009)
I know that a lot of people have complaints here, but I thought this was a damn fine movie. I can usually figure movies out a bit earlier on seeing as everything has been done before. But the presentation of Shutter Island was sheer beauty. Yes, it was hinted at, and yes, it was not the most shocking reveal of all time but it was a really fun one. Leonardo DiCaprio gave a solid performance, and I will say largely responsible for this plot twist coming together so well. When Teddy Daniels figures out that he is Andrew Laeddis, the man he has been chasing and holds responsible for the death of his wife, Dolores. However, it turns out that he shot and killed his own wife after he returned home to find that she had drowned their three children. He was no Marshal, and his partner was actually one of his doctors who allowed him to play out whatever was going on in his mind, sure that it would eventually lead him back to his true reality. I had no idea that he was the crazy he was hunting, and even the hints that were sprinkled throughout the film were so subtle that you only really see them for what they are the second time that you watch the movie.

shutter island

American Psycho (2000)
The whole movie goes on, and it has hilarious moments, others where you have to wonder, the whole shebang. The movie is a masterpiece, honestly and truly. You have no idea how a successful Wall Street mogul is able to keep this sick and crazy alternate personality/lifestyle all to himself. You have no idea what the hell really goes through his mind, he is evidently not all there, though he is intensely smart. However, then the conclusion kicks in and you are wondering what in the world just happened?! Is he imagining being a sick, psycho serial killer? Is he really a serial killer? Is he fantasizing about all these grotesque desires/thoughts that run rampant through his mind?

patrick bateman american psycho

32 thoughts on “Breaking Emotions: Tears and Surprise

  1. Shutter Island is a damn fine movie, don’t know why people hate it! American Psycho is brilliant as well. Totally got choked up during the 50/50 scene right before the surgery. When he spontaneously says “mom” in the middle of his ramblings, hoping she can save him, it fucking kills me. So true and terrifying…


    1. Thanks Chris! I really liked what Rogan did in 50/50, and usually I don’t think he can do more than stoner comedy, but this showed me he had a bit more to bring to the table.


  2. Great list here!! American Psycho might be the sickest masterpiece of all time. I can’t. . .believe. . . how crazy Christian Bale is in this thing. And people want to say he takes on dark roles *now* lol.

    Agreed on the 50/50 scene too, that was bad. And also Forrest Gump. Those scenes simply are devastating.


    1. Thanks Tom! I freaking LOVE American Psycho. Tons of fun for me, and a simply outstanding role from Christian Bale, too! Now only? Damn, where HAVE they been?!

      Truly, glad you liked the list!


  3. Yum! Thank you for ending this post with Christian Bale. Now I won’t be able to get any work done because I’ll be preoccupied with sexy thoughts about him.

    I haven’t watched The Green Mile in a long time, but it does have a very sad ending. Even sadder still that we’ll never see Michael Clarke Duncan in film again.


  4. Great post!!

    Something about Shutter Island just didn’t do it for me – I think it was because I was expecting too much I think…?


      1. Maybe so, huh? You know – did you read our big post about The Departed? I had never really seen anything by Scorcese and then I saw The Departed and The Aviator and Gangs of New York and loved them all – so I was expecting a LOT here and it just didn’t deliver….


      2. Yeah I read it, and I am thrilled you loved it so much. Had fun seeing what your opinion was. I watched The Departed last night and it blew my mind… again. Ahhhhhhh… I see. Note how they are all Scorcese/DiCaprio masterpieces! 😀 I don’t know, I thought it was a damn lot of fun and a good amount of drama and thoroughly enjoyed it. But no expectations, so I couldn’t really be let down then.


  5. Great post! Forrest Gump always strikes an emotional chord with me,the scenes you mentioned above and the scene where Lieutenant Dan defends Forrest and says “nobody calls him an idiot” leave my eyes moistened.
    As regarding Leonardo DiCaprio,we can always expect surprises à la Inception.


  6. WOW these are GREAT picks, Zoe! Fortunately I’ve seen all the films here except Shutter Island so I didn’t read that one for fear of spoiler. All your TEARS one are spot on, those are tear-jerker scenes. Interesting that there are two w/ Tom Hanks in it 😀


    1. Thank you so much Ruth! Oh you need to check out Shutter Island, it was fantastic!

      Teehee, had a toss up between the two on there and Saving Private Ryan but decided nope, can’t do three with him haha!


      1. Ahah, well he’s done SO many great films hasn’t he? One of my picks for the next Breaking Emotions has him in it, too. That man is an incredible actor!


  7. Glad to read such favorable things about American Psycho – it’s one of my all time favorites and despite its cult status it’s so underrated.


  8. I enjoyed shutter island as well and it did have a shattering moment, I can’t recall one in American psycho, the ending wasn’t meant to be ambiguous and the director Mary Harron has stated in an interview that the effect had not been her intention for the ending. That she had actually failed in that respect is one of her regrets. I adore her earlier film,( I shot Andy warhol ) and love watching her work. Nice review 🙂


    1. 🙂 Thanks. I didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be ambiguous (never finished the book to be honest, so not sure where it was supposed to go), but the end did leave it open for interpretation.


      1. Bret Easton Ellis was in the interview as well and stated that it definitely wasn’t his intention. Who knows for all we know they may have had to make it that way for the purpose of ratings or acceptance.


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