Refuse to lose.

This feature appears in Complex's February/March 2013 issue.

The Academy Awards are the most anticipated event in Tinseltown, but rarely—if ever—is the flick that takes home the Best Picture trophy a surprise. That's because, every winter, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pull out their handy nomination checklists and select the movie that fits nicely into one of four typical genres.

The inspiring biopic is sure to have audiences applauding the struggle of a great person against terrible odds. The romantic tearjerker reduces viewers to hiccupping sobs with a tale of love no real romance could live up to. The disability/disease movie asks you to empathize with an afflicted character in a way you couldn't even muster when Grandma had leukemia. And the war flick rouses a patriotic fervor capable of breaking the hardest vet. They never fail, which is why these films are shoo-ins for Oscar gold.