Every April Fools’ Day, the fear begins. What new devious prank will your so-called friends pull on you? Will the office be filled with balloons or will you be offered a mayo-filled cream donut? As terrorizing as these jokes are in real life, scenes that pull the rug out from under us in the movies are pure fun. As we cower in anticipation of what awaits us come April 1, we can take solace in some of our favorite scenes from Focus films. From a twist ending you never saw coming to a character taking you places you never imagined, here are six surprising moments that make April Fools’ Day worth celebrating.
Flipping out (and tables) in Greta
When Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) returns a handbag she finds on the subway to its owner, an older French piano teacher (Isabelle Huppert), in Neil Jordan's Greta, it seems at first the young woman has found a new friend. “An emotional bond and unlikely friendship forms,” notes The Los Angeles Times, adding, “That is, until the story becomes an over-the-top table-flipping, gum-spitting, dream-within-a-dream, locked-in-a-box grotesquery of a fairy tale.” In this scene, Huppert goes from friend to fiend as she turns Frances’ restaurant upside down. As stunning as Huppert’s explosion is for viewers, it was equally shocking for extras on set who had no idea the famed French actress was about to go full-tilt crazy.
BlacKkKlansman’s “he said ‘what?’” phone conversation
In Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) shocks his partner (Adam Driver) and just about everyone else in the detective squad of the Colorado Springs police department when he signs up to join the KKK. Based on actual events in the 1970s when an African American talked his way into the infamous white supremacist group, the movie illustrates the brilliant tactics Stallworth used. Parroting the vile opinions and vocal inflections of racists, Washington plays one of the best phone pranks ever on the KKK. Starting with the local branch, he carries his charade all the way up to the top, phoning the Grand Wizard David Duke (played by Topher Grace). Before the film came out, the ex-leader of the KKK David Duke called Stallworth because he was “concerned about how he is going to be portrayed.”
The whisper heard around the world in Lost In Translation
At the end of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation is an exchange between Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) you’ll never hear. After a remarkable few days in Tokyo, the two strangers who have now become profoundly close meet one last time. As they embrace, Murray whispers something into Johansson’s ear, but what he said remains one of cinema’s most discussed mysteries. For over 15 years, fans have obsessed and speculated about the exchange. Recently, however, Coppola acknowledged that the silence was just a placeholder for dialogue she never got around to writing: “I was going to figure out later what to say and add it in and then we never did."
Tully’s mind-blowing twist
In Jason Reitman’s Tully, Marlo (Charlize Theron), a mother of two children with a third child on the way, is at the end of her rope trying to juggle pregnancy, screaming children, and a clueless husband. When a night nurse named Tully (Mackenzie Davis) miraculously appears at her door, ready to take up the slack by doing the myriad domestic duties that were wearing Marlo down, her problems seem solved. Or are they? For Thrillist, “The Twist Ending of Tully Asks You to Rethink Everything You've Seen.” We don't want to ruin your fun by telling you what that twist ending is. You get to find that out on your own.
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind invites us to Montauk
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is considered one of the most mind-blowing, heartbreaking love stories of all time. Constructed by Charlie Kaufman—who won the Academy Award for Original Screenplay—the film plays out like a sort of Mobius strip in which Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) keep trying to erase the memory of the other, only to find themselves miraculous back together. For many, the key to the film’s mystery comes in a scene towards then end when Clementine whispers “Meet me in Montauk." For Joel, who has erased his last memory of Clementine, this simple phrase becomes a sort of subliminal road map that will guide him back to his beloved—which is what he does at the film's beginning. In 2017, lovers of the film took the suggestion to heart as they decamped to the Long Island town for a special “Meet Me in Montauk” event.
Get Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind now on iTunes or at Amazon.
Hot Fuzz turns Judge Judy and executioner
For Hot Fuzz, writer/director Edgar Wright teamed back up with his Shaun of the Dead duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for a hilarious send up of high-octane action genres. Assigned to the village of Sanford, top cop Nicholas Angel (Pegg) accidentally uncovers a conspiracy that will blow the lid off this sleepy hamlet. The trouble is he can’t trust anyone by his partner Danny Butterman (Frost), who doesn’t believe him. In this unforgettable moment when all is revealed, Danny comes to grips with the horrible fact that his own father might be “Judge Judy and executioner,” a revelation that has gone on to have a life of its own, appearing on endless t-shirts, coffee mugs, and once on a guitar "hot fuzz" pedal.
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