Oscar night is about honoring great work, but there is another big objective: Reminding TV audiences about the joys of moviegoing. One key element is film clips. Traditionally, the Academy Awards air a few moments from each best picture contender Usually distributors pick one scene for the Oscars, which is also shown at the other ceremonies (guild awards, etc.) as well.  

Here are the nine best pic contenders, with some suggested scenes that are not the obvious choices.



Amy Adams’ “Now that’s a proper introduction” has been overused. Instead, there is a sequence, about an hour in, of her walking on the grass, thinking about the aliens and her daughter, and you gradually see the giant spaceship hovering nearby. It’s poetic and it’s the heart of the film.



There are many great scenes, but the studio should stick with the clip it’s already used: The exchange between Denzel Washington and Viola Davis that includes her “I been standing with you!” is electric.

“Hacksaw Ridge”

At the hearing into the possible discharge of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), he explains why he wants to stay in the military: “While everybody else is taking life, I’m gonna save it.”


“Hell or High Water”

The brief scene with the snappy waitress (Margaret Bowman) is pretty surefire. So are scenes with Texas Ranger Gil Birmingham Birmingham quietly talking about the land was taken away from Native Americans.


Hidden Figures

When was the last time you were completely spellbound by a woman writing on a blackboard? In a top level meeting, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) writes out calculations; you can see her mind racing, and Kevin Costner’s face registers a lifetime of preconceptions slowly dissolving into appreciation.


La La Land

When Ryan Gosling encourages Emma Stone after reading her play, that scene  sums up the message of the movie, which is about dreamers, idealists, and modern-day hurdles for anyone starting out.



It’s a multi-layered film, hard to sum up in one scene. But Nicole Kidman’s monologue about adoption with Dev Patel packs a punch, even out of context.


“Manchester by the Sea”

The weepy confrontation between Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck is almost always shown. But a better choice is Lucas Hedges’ frustration as he battles the frozen chicken.



Does the Oscar broadcast have time for the great 30-minute restaurant segment at the end of the movie? If not, there is a wonderful scene between Naomie Harris and Trevante Rhodes when he visits her at the recovery home.