While a film may be 2 hours or more in length, there are those special moments - unforgettable moments - that linger in the heart and mind. These moments can crystallize in a flash all we need to know about a character or their story. They are the poetry of motion or a word or a look that jolts the senses and tells us all we need need to know.
Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and a broken compact mirror from "The Apartment" (1960):
The set-up: C.C. Baxter (Lemmon), the up and coming executive who loans out his apartment to his cheating married boss, is sweet on Fran Kubelik, the company elevator girl. At an office Christmas party, C.C. shows off his new hat to Fran while Fran hands him her compact to check his look.
The moment: Looking into the cracked mirror, C.C. realizes that the girl he adores is the girl who is sleeping with the boss.
The feeling: I'm heart broken for C.C.'s loss of innocence in his adoration for Miss Kubelik and also for Fran, as she states she likes the broken mirror because it makes her look like she feels.
Brilliance in a moment that tells us all we need to know about these 2 and that we must root for them to the end.