Oscar, we've been miffed with you since January when you snubbed Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow in the Best Director category. In response, we're staging a scrappy "Les Miz" revolt of sorts of our own, though we hope it turns out better.
To herald some of the many fine moments in film that will never get attention Sunday night, we've created our own awards. We're calling them the Odd, Silly, Capricious, Arty, Raunchy -- aka OSCAR -- Oscars.
They don't have the prestige, the ratings or the celebrities of the Academy Awards. Still, we hope that the creative categories and deserving winners will entertain at least as much as some of your acceptance speeches.
AWARD: Best Movie Few People
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Richard Linklater's mockumentary-like comedy was hilarious, with an Oscar-caliber Jack Black as a colorful charmer wooing a feisty old woman (Shirley MacLaine) 'till death suddenly does part them. Worthy of numerous viewings.
AWARD: Best Mastery of a Blowtorch
WINNER: Quvezhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: When little Hushpuppy dons a helmet, then whips out a blowtorch to warm her dinner, a collective gasp echoed through the theater. That she did so with such grace and so little drama are just part of why she's the youngest person to ever get a Best Actress
AWARD: Most Memorable Bit Part
WINNER: James Spader, "Lincoln"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: From Jared Harris to John Hawkes to Gloria Reuben, "Lincoln" was full of star-caliber actors in very small roles. Still, none was more memorable than James Spader as dandy-dressing lobbyist W.N. Bilbo. With his waxed mustache, cigars and button-popping paunch (after all, his job was wining and dining politicians), he lit up the screen.
AWARD: Best Cameo
WINNER: Johnny Depp, "21 Jump Street"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Not only was the remake of the TV series one of the year's brightest surprises, it featured a knock-you-right-out-of-your-chair moment when Depp -- one of the show's original stars -- popped up.
AWARD: Best Archer
WINNER: Katniss, "The Hunger Games"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: No one slung a bow and arrow with more conviction than Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss, a tough, resourceful teen from a dystopian future. Coming in second: "Brave's" fiery Merida. And in third, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye from "The Avengers."
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: The killer trailer for Ridley Scott's top-secret mission sent the Internet into orbit, with "Alien" cinemaniacs deconstructing and expounding on the clues. Too bad the film was a dud, too impressed with its pretentious vision to be remotely satisfying.
AWARD: Most Gratuitous Shirtless Scene
WINNER: Ben Affleck, "Argo"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Affleck won't be collecting an Oscar for best director, but he would have been a contender in Men's Health's Best Lats contest. In one of the lamest excuses to show some skin, he puts on a shirt. Not that we're
AWARD: Best Remake, Even if Unnecessary
WINNER: "The Amazing Spider-Man"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Wait a minute, didn't we just see Tobey Maguire bouncing off skyscrapers as the webbed one? Oh, yeah, that was 2007. Five years later, Andrew Garfield donned the Lycra and Emma Stone became the perky love interest. We should have been uninterested, but the cast and director Marc Webb (really that's his last name) showed us how recycling should be done.
AWARD: Best Use of 3-D
WINNER: "Life of Pi"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Leapin' tigers and whales! Director Ang Lee one upped "Hugo's" Martin Scorsese in
AWARD: Best Display of Suspense Without Murderers or Monsters
WINNER: "The Impossible"
From the very beginning of "The Impossible," which is about a vacationing family caught in a monstrous tsunami, you know a killer wave is coming. Every move the family makes -- checking into their room, lounging by the pool or on the beach -- is practically suffocated by the viewer's dread of what's coming. And when the wave arrives -- much of it created without CGI -- it's still shocking and devastating: This is dramatic filmmaking at its best.
AWARD: The Best Motivator to Hit the Gym
WINNER: The cast of "Magic Mike"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: We've been rendered speechless. A first.
AWARD: Best "Glee" knockoff
WINNER: "Pitch Perfect"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick lit up this charmer about an a capella contest. Pop it in the DVD player after a rough week.
AWARD: Most Versatile Player
WINNER: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: In 2011, Jessica Chastain seemed to be in every movie except for Adam Sandler's latest. In 2012, it was Gordon-Levitt's year to shine. From "Lincoln" to "Looper" to "The Dark Knight Rises" to "Premium Rush," the former child TV star proved to be the most reliable and hardworking actor out there. One year, Oscar will take note.
AWARD: Best Display of Facial Hair
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Tony Kushner's words and Daniel Day-Lewis's performance kept us in awe, but during the slow patches in Steven Spielberg's film-- and there were slow patches -- we stayed mesmerized by looking at the varieties of mutton chops.
AWARD: Best Use of Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers
WINNER: Daniel Craig, "Skyfall"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Tom Cruise had been the Meryl Streep in this category. But it's time for the "Mission: Impossible" sequelmeister to hang up his Nikes. Craig's 007 is the new Usain Bolt; his full-bore sprint in the opening moments in "Skyfall" left us breathless -- and he gets extra points for doing so in a stylin' suit.
AWARD: Best Twist that Improves on the Book
WINNER: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part II"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: At first, "Twilight" fans were aghast at the violent confrontation near the end of drippy "Twilight" series' final film. But director Bill Condon had a trick up his sleeve: a clever ruse that not only improved on the book, but more than satisfied fans in the end.
AWARD: Best Dishwashing Sequence
WINNER: The dwarves of "The Hobbit"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: To spend 30 minutes of screen time on the excruciatingly long feast at Bilbo Baggins' house was ridiculous. But we were rewarded by the extended dishwashing sequence, complete with flying plates and tidy midair stacking maneuvers that put even a Bosch to shame.
AWARD: Best Evidence That Bounty Hunters Can Make Excellent Barkeepers
WINNER: Scene in "Django Unchained"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: In Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," Christoph Waltz meticulously, masterfully pours mugs of beer for himself and Jamie Foxx in an empty saloon, carefully dispensing the beverage, flicking away the extra foam with a knife. It's a delicious scene (even if you don't like beer) and a reminder that Tarantino's little touches are often more rewarding than his big ones.
AWARD: Best Channeling of Susan Lucci
WINNER: Sally Field in "Lincoln"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: As the troubled Mary Todd Lincoln, the Oscar-winner chewed up the scenery like Erica Kane on "All My Children." The Academy was smitten by her histrionics and handed her an Oscar nomination. Another veteran -- the more deserving MacLaine -- should have been there instead.
AWARD: Best Use of a Hand Axe
WINNER: Abraham Lincoln, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: The movie stinks, but if you want to see an action-hero Lincoln, there's this horror flick in which Honest Abe hacks away at bloodsuckers. Too bad the movie's a dull blade.
AWARD: Best Horror Movie for Non-Horror Fans
WINNER: "Cabin in the Woods"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: Gore happens in Joss Whedon's clever, funny, but not very horrifying homage. All that and Sigourney Weaver, too.
AWARD: Best Reason to Bring Ear Plugs
WINNER: Russell Crowe, "Les Miserables"
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: For his Oscar-nominated adaptation of the phenomenally successful stage musical, director Tom Hooper came up with the cockamamie idea to have his cast sing live -- and some of them could. Mr. Crowe was not among them.
-- Staff writers Jackie Burrell, Donovan Farnham, Jim Harrington, Ardua Harris, Randy McMullen, Ann Tatko-Peterson, Lisa Wrenn and Linda Zavoral contributed.