In Coldplay‘s hit 2011 song, frontman Chris Martin crooned “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” Okay, while that’s a totally ridiculous sentiment, it may have made a little bit more sense if the band had released the song this year, considering all the movies that caused us to cry waterfall-sized tears. Even with those movies that you approached fully prepared, knowing that they would turn you into a sniffly, blubbery mess (Les Misérables, Amour, and The Impossible), it didn’t make them any easier to get through.
From the movies that broke our hearts in the most wonderful way possible (Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), to the movies that just plain broke our hearts (Bully, Amour again) here are the 10 saddest movie moments from 2012. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF CRYING AT YOUR DESK AHEAD!
Fantine’s swan song always brings down the house with tears, and Anne Hathaway‘s heartbreaking turn with the showstopper is no exception. In fact, the only thing that could hurt Hathaway’s chances for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar is if voters’ eyes are still too blurry and can’t read the ballot.
The Beasts of the Southern Wild:
Take your pick from Benh Zeitlin‘s visual masterpiece, because the last 45 minutes of the film is basically one extended unabashedly crying in public session. But the scene that really hits the hardest is when Hushpuppy (the staggeringly great Quvenzhané Wallis) has to say goodbye to her dying father Wink (Dwight Henry). She may have been a strong warrior during her journey, but we were reduced to sobbing puddles.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a bittersweet anthem to the ups and downs of high school life. So when Charlie (the criminally underrated Logan Lerman) reunites with his friends after his tragic stint in the hospital and they play their anthem and drive through the tunnel once more, our own high school memories came flooding back. So did the tears.
When Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess) is finally reunited with his wife in San Francisco, he gives a stirring, inspirational speech to her father. Once you realize that Adam and his wife are past reincarnations of Sonmi and Hae-Joo, the tears can’t help but flow. Quitting the slave trade is just icing on the sadness cake.
Life Of Pi:
They could have called this thing Life of Cry, amirite?! Between Pi sitting on the boat after his family has perished and the sad death of the orangutan, we were already goners. But it’s when Pi’s loyal tiger leaves his side after their journey at sea, without even a goodbye, that did us in.
Just…all of it.
The Hunger Games:
There were a lot of changes made from Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular saga when it hit the big screen, but sadly, Rue’s horrendous death remained the same in that it made fans cry a whole lot. When Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) gives Rue peace in comfort in the final moments of her all-too-short life by singing to her, we were chanting for her to win even more between bouts of weeping.
Like Rue’s death, we knew the fate of poor Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio). And while our hearts have gone on since 1997, watching him die an icy, watery death in 2012 in 3D made all those emotions come rushing back. We’ll never let go.
There were plenty of documentaries in 2012 that struck a nerve with viewers. But hearts everywhere broke when we met sweet, quiet middle school student Alex Libby for the first time, and witnessed the hell he has endured at the hand of his bullies. Whether we were crying because we related, crying because we felt helpless to do anything for him, or even crying out of regret for the way we treated our classmates, it didn’t matter: we were just crying.
As much as you try to brace yourself for The Impossible, the harrowing, inspirational account of a real-life family who, against all odds, survived the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, nothing prepares you for how emotional the experience of their reunions after being torn apart is. Don’t believe us? Try to make it through the trailer without losing it, let alone a two hour movie.
[Photo credits: Universal Pictures, Fox Searchlight, Summit Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics]