I have gone in to bat for Peyton Reed's Bring It On before. I even called it the greatest sports film of all time, a point I stand by. Needless to say I have a fondness for it, so when it came to choosing my favourite individual shot from the movie for The Film Experience's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series I had trouble.
It took a lot of willpower to not just choose a moment from my favourite scene, Missy's audition in the gymnasium, due to my love of Eliza Dushku and the range of facial expressions and emotions she has during this scene. Smug superiority, fake cheeriness and intense satisfaction. Same for the scene in which she slowly registers the fact that the cheerleading team she has just joined has ripped off the cheers from another school. Or how about the scene where Missy's cheer persona is revealed and she, dare we suggest, likes it! My favourite shots of these moments are below, but they're not my number one.
Of course there's also basically any shot of Jesse Bradford because, well, he's Jesse Bradford. It's quite interesting to note that all three leads from Bring It On seemed like they could have success and stardom handed to them on a silver platter and yet it never quite worked out.
I also love the way the Kirsten Dunst makes her character of Torrence so easy to read. The way she looks like a deer in the headlights during her TV interview or by the way he face drops when she can't keep up the perky "spirit fingers" face anymore.
I nearly went with this shot below because I feel it says so much about the film's willingness to be different about homosexuality in the way it's represented so casually. After Les speaks to a fellow male cheerleader he has this look of relief that is so adorable and says so much about the character.
In the end I had to go with a shot of Missy, but one that I think perfectly encapsulates Bring It On. The shot below is not only from a really well-edited montage (gawd, how much do I love a montage?) but I think it shows off the film's exuberance with colour and composition, as well as expressing Peyton Reed's obvious love of cinema. A Bob Fosse movie is not something you ever expect from a teen movie, but there it is, Sweet Charity! I love how purely obsessed with cinema Bring It On is, everything about the movie screams devotion and never more so than when it references one of the medium's greatest artists.