It was even better the second time around. :) A second time watching a grand scale movie like this on the big screen is always fun because of the details you didn't notice on the first time around. Personally, I just loved to sink into the atmosphere of the movie, drink in the beauty of the scenery, the tragedy of the story and well, krhm, enjoy the eye candy that is so nicely offered by Orlando. ;)
Here's my list of 15 favorite moments / things from the movie. I took the idea from dangermousie (who actually listed 20 favorites, I'm settling for a bit less), I couldn't comment on her post before I had seen the movie twice myself. So here goes, in no particular order.
1. the character of Salah ad-Din
The intensity of his eyes is mezmerizing. And his figure, when he walks into Jerusalem is just powerful, in a quiet and wise sort of way.
2. the last wave of hand the Hospitaller gives to Balian before riding into the battle of Hattin
I had tears in my eyes. It's the last time Balian sees the wise Hospitaller alive. I became quite attached to his character. Not only because I'm partial to Hospitallers anyway, but because he's just an admirable Knight, who's got a sensible view of his faith and the situation in Jerusalem.
3. the Hospitaller crossing the stream hiding behind the galloping horse in the battle in the French woods
Well, as I just said, I liked the character and this is one of the moments when he shows he's not only a quiet, philosophical medicine man, but also a skilled warrior. And how he pats Balian with his sword when riding by and then turns and bows ever so slightly. Ah, perfect.
4. the very first cut to Balian's face when he has returned to France
A look to die for. So full of emotion.
5. when Ibelin's men recognise Balian as their new baron and they bow in front of him
I'm such a sucker for such little gestures of chivalry. "Come this way, my lord." Ah, ah, ah.
6. Balian's men riding into battle in Kerak
First they ride side by side, then they form two lines, which then divide into two fronts that are overwhelmed by the moslem cavalry. The aerial view over the battle is breathtaking.
7. the surrender of Jerusalem
The whole scene from the white flag to the moment when Balian asks what Jerusalem is worth and Salah ad-Din replies: "Nothing. - - Everything." Which by the way is one of my favorite Salah ad-Din moments, too.
8. the Templars and their warcry "God wills it!"
Deus lo vult - hasn't been heard in centuries and made shivers go down my spine. Especially when at one point one of the moslem warriors utters the exact same thing. Isn't it madness?
9. the Hospitallers and their hospital
Just because. :)
10. Balian's determined and (ahem) manly gait at any point when he wears Ibelin's / Jerusalem's colors
A completely fangirlish fave. I think all men should have coat of arms and a cloak every once and a while - it seems to do miracles to the manner they walk around. :)
11. Baldwin IV: "I am Jerusalem."
12. Sibylla's coronation gown
Wow. Her clothes and jewellery were amazing at any time - what I did ponder was how the big hoods of her cloaks stayed on when she was galloping around on that beautiful horse of hers...
13. Balian riding to catch up with his father in France
The scene is very beautifully filmed. The desperate gallop over the fields, the road in the forest, the light snow fall... One of the most esthetically pleasing moments in the movie.
14. Godfrey asking for forgiveness from Balian
You can see he's not really comfortable doing it, but nevertheless, he's determined to say what he came to say.
15. Balian kneeling down to be knighted by his dying father
You didn't think I was going to get through my favorite moments without mentioning at least one kneeling, now did you? :) This is, without a doubt, one of the teariest moments of the movie for me. Chivalry and nobility just ooze from it.
So there's my fifteen. I sure could've listed at least those five additional fave moments (like the one where a single moslem rider appears in the dark before the battle in Jerusalem and his sword shines in the night) , but I'm thinking this post is about as long as it should be. (These are the situations in which I actually would like to have the cut-feature that lj has...)
Now I'm left eagerly waiting for the director's cut to come out on dvd! Let it be soon!
Unfortunately, what will come sooner, are the essays that my students are writing at the moment in the rehearsal exam. That'll be the rest of my weekend. Grading, grading.