Top 6 Tragically Beautiful Film Scenes

Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I am, sometimes detrimentally, quite taken with beauty in the breakdown.  It is my private secret that in my favorite films and literature, the heroine rarely walks away from it all unscathed and never happily ever after.  There is a certain feeling that is conveyed through minor chords and broken relationships that almost makes me feel more alive.

In my most beloved films, by some series of unfortunate events that play upon each other like dominoes arranged on a tilted table, a tragedy unfolds.  And it is in this gorgeous connectivity and desperate inability to stop the momentum that beauty can be found.

Here are my top 6 tragically beautiful film scenes.  I apologize for the bias towards the French, but they do have a certain flair for, how do you say, la beauté dans la tragédie.

Number 1.  Le Fille Sur le Pont (The Girl on the Bridge).  Director: Patrice Leconte.  Gabor et Adèle.  The knife throwing scene on the train.  Song: ‘Who Will Take My Dreams Away’ by Marianne Faithful.

Number 2.  Elizabeth.  Director: Shekhar Kapur.  Queen Elizabeth.  Final Scene.

*click on ‘watch on youtube’*

Number 3.  À bout de souffle (Breathless).  Director: Jean-Luc Godard.  Michel et Patricia.  Final Scene.

Number 4.  Me and You and Everyone We Know.  Director: Miranda July.  Christine.  Shoe Scene.

Number 5.  The Pianist.  Director: Roman Polanski.  Wladyslaw and Wilm Hosenfeld.  Piano scene in Warsaw ghetto.  Song: ‘Ballade in G-Minor, Op. 23’ by Chopin


*click on ‘watch on youtube’*

Number 6.  An Education.  Director: Lone Scherfig.  Jenny and David.  Paris scene.  Song: ‘Sur Les Quais Du Vieux Paris’ by Juliette Gréco.

*this scene is tragic only after you watch the film the second time and realize that she spends the rest of her life pretending it didn’t happen.




  1. peter benson says:


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