My favorite emotionally revealing movie scenes

These are movie scenes I return to, again and again, to wake myself up emotionally, even to get motivated. In each scene, something we didn’t know or suspected about the character is revealed either subtly or in full light, with a twinge of pain and love.

The Grey – Ending Scene [clip]

After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step

Liam Neeson in the final scene against the wolf in the movie The Grey

At the end of the movie, we learn that Ottway’s wife didn’t leave him intentionally but had a terminal illness, making his attempted suicide at the beginning of the movie — and his sadness throughout the movie — much more romantic.

Then we see Ottway create a weapon combination designed for ultimate alpha ass kicking: a hunting knife in one hand, mini glass liquor bottles in between his knuckles in the other, secured with electrical tape and smashed against a rock for a bloody blow.

Before lunging at the alpha wolf, he reads off the only poem his father ever wrote…

Once more into the fray…
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Live and die on this day…
Live and die on this day…

Dan in Real Life, Talent Show Scene [clip]

A widower finds out the woman he fell in love with is his brother’s girlfriend

Juliette Binoche looking at Steve Carell in the move Dan in Real Life

Dan wears his heart on his sleeve for his brother’s girlfriend when, after doing a dual performance of “Let My Love Open the Door” with his brother at a family talent show, he continues singing after the song is over. It’s here where Marie senses his sadness and how much in love with him she may be.

Inception, Pinwheel Scene [clip]

A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

Disappointed scene in the move Inception

Unable to live up to his father’s high standards in real life, we learn that, in his curated dream world, Robert Fischer’s father wasn’t disappointed in him because he couldn’t command the family business like he did, but because he tried to.

When Robert discovers the pinwheel from his childhood in the safe by his father’s deathbed, it’s a sign that his father loved his son and secretly wanted him to be his own man.

Lost in Translation, Karaoke Scene [clip]

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo

Scarlett Johansson's sexy stare in the karaoke room in the movie Lost in Translation

After some mild flirtation throughout the beginning of the movie, Charlotte and Bob hit the karaoke bar with some friends. It’s here where Charlotte’s affection for Bob is revealed. When Bob is singing “More Than This” by Roxy Music, Charlotte trades her smirking for a long, beautiful stare.

Shortly after watching this scene for the first time when I was 14-years-old, Scarlett Johansson became my first celebrity crush. I watched every movie she starred and co-starred in. Unfortunately that included me watching Eight Legged Freaks.

What are your favorite emotionally revealing scenes in movies? Let me know on Twitter!