Friday, August 1, 2008

Favorite Moments: The Exorcist

I should probably save this Favorite Moment for October but I feel like putting it up now so that's what I'm going to do. It's from The Exorcist and it's probably the scene I like best in the whole movie. While I admire many aspects of the film what has always stood out for me is the power of Jason Miller's performance. Throughout the film he holds everything in a tight coil always looking as though he is mere inches away from a complete nervous breakdown. This moment represents the first time in the film where he finally let's his emotions take over. It's necessary or the climax would make little sense as his emotional overload is what draws the film to its conclusion. This scene sets it up and his ability at letting go only momentarily and then immediately drawing it back in is one of the feats that makes this, for me at least, the best performance of 1973, with all due respect to the other great performances that year, lead or supporting. Everyone is impressive in the film but Miller's performance carries a power and weight to it that never fails to move me.