2013 Best Line of Dialogue Nominees

This freaking category.  It’s in this category that I almost always run into problems.  Part of it is that the movie quotes that eventually become famous usually don’t get canonized until people live with the various films for a while.  Another part of it is that I’m not necessarily taking notes while watching these movies and it’s not that easy to keep track of all these quotes as I go.  As such there’s always one or two seemingly obvious quotes I manage to forget each year.  However, I’m slightly more confident about this lineup than I usually is even though I had to cut some pretty good lines to get these five.

  •  “Okay well, number 1, you’re fucking nuts! You are. Good luck! Find somebody else to put up with your shit for more than like 6 months okay? But I, accept the whole package, the crazy and the brilliant. I know you’re not gonna change and I don’t want you to. It’s called accepting you for being you.” – Before Midnight: Only when two people have become really comfortable with one another can someone question their partner’s sanity and have it be endearing like this.  The later parts of the line might sound a little one the nose out of context, but this isn’t just any conversation.  It shows up in the midst of a really heated argument in which these people’s relationship is really on the line.
  •  “Half of North America just lost their Facebook” – Gravity: This is a very simple and matter of fact throwaway line, but what I like about it is that it hints at a whole lot in a very offhanded way.  Throughout Gravity we’re so consumed in Sandra Bullock’s personal ordeal that we rarely even think to consider how this space disaster is affecting all the people down on Earth.  The destruction of all these satellites is almost certainly disrupting communication and wreaking havoc on the surface but outside of this little quip by George Clooney it hardly occurs to us.
  • “Well, I have now seen, first hand, what a lifetime’s diet of Reader’s Digest, the Daily Mail, and romantic novels can do to a person’s brain.” – Philomena: Philomena is a pretty bland movie, but its screenplay is written by Steve Coogan, so every once in a while little quips like this do break through.  I also considered Sixsmith’s description of “human interest stories,” but this seemed like a more concise amalgamation of his attitude as he first began interviewing the title character.  Over the course of the film he comes to respect the person he was describing, but I think he might have been right the first time.
  • “Hermione just stole all of our shit. And Jay suggested that we rape her. I think the only reason he did that is because he knows he’s about two minutes away from becoming the house bitch himself.” – This is the End: First of all, for the record, Jay Baruchel did not actually suggest that anybody get raped.  It is interesting that Danny McBride interpreted it that way, but he actually didn’t.  This quote comes shortly after a misunderstanding leads Emma Watson to steal most of the survivors’ supplies and is spoken by McBride into a camcorder.  The timing is just about perfect and it pretty accurately captures the surreal nature of having just been on the losing end of an interaction with an actor from the Harry Potter series.
  • “I’ll tell you what, I’m never eating at Benihana again. I don’t care whose birthday it is.” – The Wolf of Wall Street: Moments earlier Jordan Belfort cursed god for using “a chain of fucking hibachi restaurants to take [him] down.”  His colleague, played by Jonah Hill, further commented on this irony with this little quip in which he consuls his friend through a gesture that requires only the most minimal of efforts on his own part.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure that this line was improvised, and it’s this kind of gold that can come from a set that encourages creativity like this.

 And the Golden Stake goes to…

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