We don’t really enjoy watching our favorite characters suffer – but great crying scenes are cathartic, moving, and totally captivating. They’re also rare; it’s easy enough to tug at heartstrings with manipulative music cues, but it takes real skill to make an audience empathize with someone whose job is to fake emotions. Get a hanky ready – here are our favorite crying scenes of 2012.
Carrie (Claire Danes), Homeland
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Claire Danes is Hollywood’s best crier. (Just ask the Internet.) Her tears as Carrie Mathison, Homeland’s unstable heroine, are unparalleled – and so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to single out just one crying scene from the Showtime drama’s second season. Trust us on this one; when Danes’s chin starts trembling and it looks like “her whole face is chewing gum,” you’ll want to pay attention.