Subtle, wicked, haunting, thrilling, scary... That's the way to describe Rebecca, Hitchcock's masterpiece. Oscar winner cinematographer George Barnes creates an eerie atmosphere where the sense of intimidation is palpable. We descend to Mrs. de Winter (Joan Fontaine) madness as she becomes convinced that she's replacing a ghost. The thin line between good and evil is disturbed and broken, and we get that from the exquisite black and white images and the composition of elements and gothic style.
The story is quiet and builds pure suspense towards the damaged ending. That mansion gave me chills as well as the presence of Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), because everything is there for a reason. That's Golden Hollywood narrative. Hitchcock uses the camera to recreate the death of Rebecca, but most important, he moves it, like nobody else does, to stay with the heroine of the movie. It seems like she's locked in that house, trying to escape, and finally overcomes all the obstacles and succeeds as the new wife.
And that personal journey was essential in my choice for best shot. The bronze spot is for the service shot. Look closely. The men in black, the women in white. A clue? The silver spot is for Mrs. Danvers most iconic moment in the entire film, as she seems to be always watching, even behind the curtains. And gold is Mrs. de Winter watching her honeymoon video, extremely upset about what's happening in the house and around her and trying to communicate her feelings to her husband (Laurence Olivier), while her face gets softly lighted up. It's a moment of extreme tension as the character is about to explode. A perfect, cinematic moment.