And that's what you want from a movie, that's why we crave them: the moments. Of course you need a story and a plot and characters that excite you. But the way they do that, the way they really capture you, is with the magical moments. The best ones feel like an accident, like the crew accidentally kept rolling and magic was somehow captured.
That's why I love this scene in 'Manhattan'. It's the most perfect minute of cinema you could ever hope for. I could talk in a technical way about the Gershwin music, and the dialogue, and the shot composition, but it's not exciting to talk about the nuts and bolts, it's too scientific. The fun is in the moment itself, not in how it was constructed.
The scene feels like every magical moment I've ever had in New York City. It feels like every woman I've ever loved. It feels like life at its absolute best.
And then there's the ending, when Ike gets to Tracy's door, just as she's about to leave for London.
What's great about Woody Allen is how his endings are so open, so realistic. They feel like your life. They're not always happy endings, yet they make you feel good, because they're meaningful. And here, Ike doesn't want her to go, Tracy is the love of his life -- but he has enough wisdom, deep down, to know that she's got to go; she's young and she has the chance to travel and study in London. The whole film; Ike acted as if he was above her; but at the end, it's her that has the wisdom.
And then the look in Ike's eyes. You see it, RIGHT THERE, in the moment. He gets a little faith. Life has meaning.
What more could you want from a movie?