Liam Neeson

From 'Arrival' to 'Moonlight' to 'Silence,' a look at the first frame of 9 films meant to pull you in

From 'Arrival' to 'Moonlight' to 'Silence,' a look at the first frame of 9 films meant to pull you in

The first scene of a movie is often its defining moment: In subtle and large ways it lets the audience know where they are, where they’re going — and often, what to expect along the way. But deciding on that first major statement can be a challenge; sometimes, a main character dancing to “Thriller” in the bathroom mirror is the wrong choice.

Here, directors and editors from nine awards-season contenders share why they began their films as they did – and what alternate openings were abandoned along the way.

Tom Cross (editor, “La La Land”)

First scene: Amid an all-too-familiar massive L.A. freeway backup, a musical number breaks out and...

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