The 2014 movie-awards season is revving up as the 86th Academy Awards draws nearer. As you catch up on your nominated films before the Super Bowl of Hollywood on March 2, we saw this as a golden opportunity to give out our own golden statuettes.
Our Os-cars (get it?) award celebrates the finest performances by automobiles from theatrically released films of the past year. While it's an honor just to be nominated for an Os-car, if you believe we've made an unforgiveable snub or care to submit a nominee in a category not listed below for our consideration, we encourage you do so in the comments section.
So without further ado, here are the 2014 Cars.com Os-car winners:
Most Prolific Product Placement
The Os-car goes to Audi for "Iron Man 3," featuring billionaire genius/super hero Tony Stark's Audi R8 e-tron electric supercar, along with the German automaker's A7 and SUVs. So great is Iron Man's brand loyalty, in fact, that we wouldn't be surprised if his next suit of armor had four linked arc reactors across the chest.
Least Prolific Product Placement
The Ram Man of Steel Power Wagon pickup truck grabs this award. The truck was designed for "Man of Steel" cross-promotional purposes but entirely absent — like, say, Superman nemesis Lex Luthor, or a sense of directorial restraint — from the actual film.
Best Car-Character Combo
The award goes to the mid-'60s AMC Rambler in "The Heat." The so-called Kenosha Cadillac is driven by Melissa McCarthy's churlish, hot mess of a Boston police detective. Who totally would drive a Rambler.
Crowd of Cars
"Fast & Furious 6" easily takes home this Os-car. The movie features a robust cast of cars with cameos by literally dozens of makes and models — both classic and current. At least three from Dodge alone, including the 1969 Charger Daytona, 2011 Challenger SRT8 and 2012 Charger SRT8 — light up their tires and the screen.
Car's the Star
The Os-car goes to the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 from "The Last Stand," officially headlined by Arnold Schwarzenegger but in practice by the Vette, which outperforms the erstwhile Governator and gets nearly as much screen time — plus costs roughly as much as this box-office beater grossed.
The 1970 Buick station wagon in "The Way, Way Back" takes this Os-car. The film is a summer-at-the-beach coming-of-age story in which the wagon's old-school rear-facing third-row bench symbolically represents all of the protagonist's deep-seated teen angst. [The Cars.com photo above shows consumer affairs editor Kelsey Mays in the "way, way back" of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon, one of the only new cars with a rear-facing jumpseat.]
Best Performance by a Family Vehicle in the Commission of an International Crime
The Os-car goes to the Coachmen Encounter Class A motorhome used in "We're the Millers." Down-on-their-luck Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston and their faux family of four use it to bring more than just souvenir sombreros back across the border.
Best Attempted Hit-and-Run of a Rampaging Telekinetic Prom Queen
The 1971 Pontiac LeMans in the 2013 remake of "Carrie," starring Chloe Grace Moretz, takes home this award. Too bad for its occupants the '71 doesn't have any airbags or even dirty pillows.
Best Post-Apocalyptic Option Package
The award goes to the Nissan GT-R in "Elysium." The century-and-a-half-old (in movie years) all-wheel-drive sports coupe's 545-horsepower V-6 sprints from zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and is optioned up with all manner of armor and gadgetry to make a sensible dystopian daily driver.
Best Cameo by an Autonomous Vehicle
The Os-car goes to the real-life self-driving Google car in the Silicon Valley-set Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson back-to-school comedy, "The Internship." Pay attention, because if you blink you'll miss it, like the theatrical release of this film (the makers of which seemed at times to be on autopilot, themselves).
Photos courtesy of Marvel, Chrysler, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal Studios Entertainment, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. Ent. and Sony Pictures