You could go out and party, or you could watch one of these
Looking forward to the New Years Eve festivities? Or kind of dreading the enforced fun, feeling under pressure to find someone to kiss, and resenting the inevitable hangover already?
Whatever your attitude to the date, theres a film moment to match. The symbolism of this time of year both an ending and a beginning, with all the metaphorical weight that carries makes it irresistible to storytellers, whether theyre using it as a springboard to a hopeful new start or a climactic ending. Read on for twenty of cinemas best New Years Eve moments.
Strange Days (1995)
The film: A sci-fi thriller set in the then-near future, Strange Days bagged director Kathryn Bigelow a Saturn Award for Best Director.
The moment: The tension thats been building throughout the film finally boils over, with a full-scale riot kicking off on the streets of Los Angeles but just before the calendar flips over into a new year, a new century, and a new millennium, everything gets put right, and the film closes with a kiss. The power of NYE, eh?
Radio Days (1987)
The film: Woody Allens ode to the golden age of radio, before video killed it off.
The moment: There are more than forty songs used in the film, but the most memorable is the Cole Porter standard Youd Be So Nice To Come Home To. Sung by Diane Keaton in a brief cameo appearance, its part of the 1943 New Years Eve broadcast, and theres real poignancy to it.
Boogie Nights (1997)
The film: A surprisingly harrowing ensemble drama set in the porn industry at the end of the 1970s.
The moment: During a New Years Eve party, Little Bill (William H. Macy) walks in on his wife in bed with another man. He calmly walks to his car, fetches his gun, and shoots them both before turning the gun on himself. Its about the worst possible beginning to the year imaginable. If youre not feeling NYE, you can comfort yourself with the thought that at least things arent that bad.
In Search Of A Midnight Kiss (2007)
The film: An understated indie romcom about two awkward types searching for love on the most high pressure night of the year.
The moment: The whole things set on New Years Eve, so pretty much any moment would work, but the bit where Wilson (Scoot McNairy) and Vivian (Sara Simmonds) break into a deserted cinema in downtown LA to give their own little performance might be the best.
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
The film: Passengers on board the SS Poseidon are left fighting for their lives in this lavish disaster movie.
The moment: Another one for the NYE haters, this: the rogue wave that capsizes the boat strikes just as the passengers are toasting the new year. Perfect if you want to feel smug about staying home and chilling out instead of going out to celebrate in an overpriced bar.
The Mephisto Waltz (1971)
The film: A trippy occult horror about Myles (Alan Alda), a bitter music journalist who strikes up a fatal friendship with a famous pianist.
The moment: If the people wearing animal masks dont freak you out, the dog wearing a human mask will. The NYE costume party thrown for the music industry elite in The Mephisto Waltz seems less like a fun way to ring in the new year than a great way to bag yourself a years worth of surreal nightmares. Still, at least its memorable, and the booze doesnt seem to be in any danger of running out
Bridget Joness Diary (2001)
The film: An oh-so-British romcom based on Helen Fieldings novel (itself an adaptation of Fieldings column in The Independent) of the same title.
The moment: Forget love at first sight theres no New Year magic when Bridget (Rene Zellweger) and Mark (Colin Firth) meet for the first time as adults at Bridgets parents New Year party. Actually, theyre pretty much repulsed by one another.
(If theres a lesson here, its probably not to wear Christmas jumpers to New Years Eve parties.)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
The film: Francis Ford Coppolas Oscar-winning follow up to The Godfather (1972).
The moment: Better not to be kissed on New Years Eve than, like poor old Fredo (John Cazale), to be on the receiving end of a Judas kiss from Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). The menace of the moment is somehow heightened by the fact that hes covered in confetti at the time.
Holiday Inn (1942)
The film: Best known for introducing Bing Crosbys White Christmas to the world, this is a musical romance set around a series of annual holidays including, obvs, New Years Eve.
The moment: A heartbroken and completely sloshed music hall performer turns up at the titular Inns New Years Eve party and steals the show with his drunken dancing. Well, he is Fred Astaire, after all.
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
The film: A cutting comedy by the Coen Brothers, all about the evils of big corporations.
The moment: Norville (Tim Robbins) almost doesnt live to see the new year, having been pushed off the top of a skyscraper but then an angel appears to work a NYE miracle, saving his life and making him super rich in the process. Better not try this at home, though.
Rosemarys Baby (1968)
The film: Mia Farrow plays the unfortunate Rosemary, a woman betrayed by her Satan-worshipping neighbours and fame-hungry husband, in this adaptation of Ira Levins novel.
The moment: As if being pregnant on one of the booziest nights of the year werent bad enough, Rosemary decides to spend New Years Eve with her overly-welcoming neighbours, the Castavets. But while she thinks shes ringing in 1966, theyre toasting to Year One. Gulp.
Oceans 11 (1960)
The film: The quintessential Rat Pack movie, the original Oceans 11 starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop as a gang of robbers planning a series of casino heists on New Years Eve.
The moment: At the stroke of midnight, just as everyones singing Auld Lang Syne, the gang blows up an electrical tower that knocks out all of the power in Las Vegas, ready for the mega-heist to kick off. Go big or go home, right?
The Gold Rush (1925)
The film: Chaplins favourite of his films, The Gold Rush sees him playing an inept prospector who becomes the butt of the joke for a town full of wannabe millionaires.
The moment: All alone on New Years Eve, the Lone Prospector dreams of a festive party but has to make do with making his bread rolls dance, instead. Its a classic Chaplin moment, sad and comic at the same time.
The film: Released the same year as the much better known Bringing Up Baby, Holiday cast Grant as Johnny Case, a self-made man who struggles with the uptight family of his fiance and then ends up falling for her sister.
The moment: Linda (Hepburn) is skulking in her old playroom rather than joining in the NYE festivities. When Johnny comes to try to persuade her to come downstairs, they share a moment and an emotionally charged waltz.
New Years Eve (2011)
The film: One of those seasonal ensemble jobs, this one starring Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Robert De Niro, Ludacris, and more.
The moment: Backing singer Elise (Lea Michele) almost spends her New Years Eve stuck in a lift, but manages to get out and on stage just in time to realise that the star (Jon Bon Jovi) isnt showing up. So she grabs the spotlight and sings Auld Lang Syne herself, before nabbing a kiss with NYE skeptic Randy (Ashton Kutcher). What more could a girl want?
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
The film: Failed screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) gets drawn into the orbit of faded star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in Billy Wilders dark satire on the Hollywood elite.
The moment: Norma throws a lavish New Years Eve bash, but unfortunately for Joe, he wont get the chance to rub shoulders with any other tinseltown greats this is a private party thrown just for him. The awkwardness is palpable again, one for when youre feeling cynical about all the NYE hype.
An Affair To Remember (1957)
The film:Cary Grant gets his romantic hero on again in An Affair To Remember, one of the all-time classic romances.
The moment: Nickie (Grant) meets Terry (Deborah Kerr) on a Transatlantic voyage, but since theyre both in established relationships, they deny their attraction to one another until New Years Eve, when they give into their feelings and share an unforgettable kiss.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
The film: A romcom about relationships, When Harry Met Sally is probably screenwriter Nora Ephrons best-known, most-loved work.
The moment: Yeah, its not that moment from When Harry Met Sally. The film ends at a New Years Eve party, where Harry (Billy Crystal) finally admits that hes fallen in love with Sally (Meg Ryan), and, naturally, theres a romantic NYE kiss.
The Apartment (1960)
The film: Another biting Billy Wilder comedy, The Apartment sees a lowly office worker exploited by his higher-ups who all want to use his conveniently located flat for their extra-marital affairs.
The moment: After a series of misunderstandings and arguments, Bud (Jack Lemmon) and Fran (Shirley MacLaine) get together at the apartment for champagne and a game of rummy. What better way to declare your love, after all?
Ghostbusters II (1989)
The film: Ivan Reitmans follow-up to everyones favourite supernatural buddy comedy.
The moment: In order to tackle the supernatural slime threatening New York City on New Years Eve, the Ghostbusters animate the Statue of Liberty and ride her crown through the streets, rallying the citizens into a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne that, ultimately, helps to save the day. Altogether now: Should auld acquaintance be forgot