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2017 Calvin Awards: Best Scene

By David Mumpower

February 21, 2017

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The other two sequences earning top five placement come from Arrival and Zootopia. The Arrival scene is the seminal moment when linguist Louise Banks finally discovers her unlikely Rosetta Stone, the method that enables her to communicate with the aliens. And the way it happens left our collective mouths on the floor as we pieced together this brilliant science-fiction concept.

Zootopia’s scene is the polar opposite, a silly moment involving a sloth whose glacial pace infuriates an excitable rookie cop who can’t slow down her velocity to accommodate her counterpart. Alternately, it’s one of the funniest ways anyone has ever poked fun at the DMV. The Zootopia trailer marketed the entire film with this gag, and it was a clever play for a box office juggernaut. Everything about the sloth as DMV employee works.

More comedy and a tugging of heart strings drive the selection of the sixth and seventh selections this year. Hail, Caesar! is quirky even by Coen Brothers standards, and no scene exemplifies its oddity more than the one between Alden Ehrenreich and Ralph Fiennes. Any scene featuring the future Han Solo and Voldemort has high expectations, yet this sequence still satisfies as the patrician Brit unsuccessfully attempts to teach the humble western actor how to deliver a single line of dialogue, “Would that it were so simple!”




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Seventh goes to the resolution of Kubo and the Two Strings. Spoilers again prevent specifics here, but among the many strengths of Kubo and the Two Strings is the way that the hero handles a showdown with the person who put his town in danger, a man who happens to be his grandfather. It’s one of the most mature, profound denouements in the history of cinema.

Comic book characters and people larger than life complete this year’s top ten in Best Scene. Eighth place goes to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for his adorable singalong, "You’re Welcome." Fittingly, The Rock portrays Maui, a demigod with an artificially inflated opinion of his own heroism. The entire enterprise is casting kismet. Ninth place goes to “I’ve come to bargain,” another conclusive scene, this time from Doctor Strange. Suffice to say that this one takes a few times to get right, and our staff adored the irregular depiction of selfless valor, and it too came from an otherwise egotistical character. Finally, tenth place goes to the contentious showdown in Deadpool when our titular (and again narcissistic) champion battles a do-gooder under the mistaken impression that the Merc with a Mouth might want to be a hero, too. We as a group clearly embraced forced humility this year.

Narrowly missing nomination this year are several other amazing scenes. Deadpool almost earned a second selection with the 12 bullets sequence, our staff had divisive but generally positive opinions of the food orgy in Sausage Party (you’re right to judge the pervs who voted for it), and we loved the shootout in Hell Or High Water. It was a particularly great year in the Best Scene category.

Calvins Intro
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cast
Best Character
Best Director
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Breakthrough Performance
Worst Performance
Worst Picture


Top 10
Position Scene Film Total Points
1 Epilogue La La Land 89
2 Entire Berlin airport showdown Captain America: Civil War 59
3 Darth Vader slaughters rebel soldiers in pursuit of disc drive Rogue One 56
4 Louise learns to speak alien Arrival 49
5 DMV sloths Zootopia 47
6 Would that it were so simple! Hail, Caesar! 46
7 Grandfather is welcomed back Kubo and the Two Strings 35
8 You're Welcome Moana 34
9 I've Come to Bargain Doctor Strange 31
10 Deadpool vs. Colossus Deadpool 29




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