Michael Fassbender’s Erik Lehnsherr and James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier were a match made in cinema heaven in this summer’s “X-Men: First Class.” (See review here.) The push and pull between the two of them is the movie’s greatest strength, and their relationship is essentially — as McAvoy has called it — a love story.
Maybe that’s why the scene where Charles helps the future Magneto discover the magnitude of his mutant power goes right to the gut. During a training session, Erik attempts to turn a massive satellite and fails because he’s using the wrong fuel: anger. Charles/Yoda advises him that “true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity,” and he reaches into his friend’s mind to find a beautiful memory — one of his mother. Erik tries again and the damn thing moves. Best personal trainer ever.
It’s Charles’ belief in his friend’s goodness and Erik’s awe at his own gift that make this moment a killer, and one of the best in X-movie history.