Sam and Saba at the movies

Photo illustration by Sumner Lambert

SAM: Roll out the gowns and tuxes everyone, it’s Oscar season. Everybody in Hollywood and around the globe is glitzing and glamming it up in preparation for the biggest night for the people of the silver screen. Who will be named the best director in cinema for the 2010 year? Who was the most master of thespians? Will Toy Story 3 rightfully stake its claim as the best picture?

All answers will finally be revealed on Sund. . . hold on a tick. Son of a biscuit-eating bulldog, I missed it. So I was off on my prediction for Buzz and Woody taking home the trophy, wasn’t I?

Well instead of me giving my now-incorrect Oscar picks, Saba and I will instead grade the decisions made by the Academy in the four biggest categories: Picture, Director, Actor and Actress. But as always, since this is S&S on Sports we’ll use baseball terms to grade the various awards and performances instead of simple grades.

So Saba, the band’s playing me off on this intro. You want to get us started with Best Actress?

SABA: NATALIE PORTMAN. What a woman. Harvard graduate, talented actress, beautiful (even if she’s bald or pregnant!). Though I, like many, loved “Black Swan” I definitely had nightmares for about a week after I saw it. Goes to show that even when she’s crazy, she’s amazing. What does this mean in baseball terms? She had a home run?

SAM: I’m scared to give out a homer this early in the proceedings because I fear that it might be a slippery slope and we give everyone a home run.  But screw it, Natalie Portman deserves a home run every day and twice on Sundays. In fact, give her a grand slam because anyone who can look that beautiful with a bun in the oven totally deserves it. (Has it become evident that I didn’t actually see “Black Swan,” yet? Screw it, I don’t care. Grand slam for Ms. Portman.) Onto Best Actor.

SABA: I love me some Colin Firth. That sounded creepy. But yeah, I didn’t get to see “King’s Speech” but since the Colinator (yeah I just gave him that nickname) didn’t win for “A Single Man” last year (a damn good movie if you ask me) I would say he deserves it. Props to him for even acknowledging that his win was probably the “peak of his career.” Chick flick after chick flick Colin has been known as the sexy Brit. NOW he is the critically acclaimed Academy Award winning actor (who happens to be really good looking and my favorite one in “Love Actually”). I guess in baseball he would be a veteran ball player who is finally recognized for all his worth.

SAM: Kinda like Mike Lowell, then? Only if he had actually won the MVP randomly two years ago. I like the analogy. Firth’s definitely put in plenty to earn a golden trophy, and it’s not at all easy to play a person with a stammer. Both his and Natalie’s victories were the easiest thing to predict last night. Sort of like the Red Sox and Phillies making the World Series this year, but that’s a story for a different day. Anywho, now the most controversial choice of the night: Best Director.

SABA: We all thought it would be David Fincher. Then again, maybe by “we all” I only speak for the youth generation. Again, haven’t seen “King’s Speech” so I can’t judge but I really, really loved “Social Network.” I am naturally addicted to Facebook and therefore fascinated by the creation. Plus I read the book “Accidental Billionaires” before the movie came out so I was pretty sure it was going to be awesome. Anyway, Tom Hooper is kind of like an injured hitter getting a hit. Unexpected but not necessarily a bad thing (unless you’re rooting for the other team aka all those rooting for Fincher).

SAM: I see where you’re coming from with that analogy, but I’m going to call the selection of Hooper a straight-up error on the Academy’s party. “The King’s Speech” was an actor’s movie, there’s no denying that. I’ve heard it elsewhere and I’ll repeat it here: All Hooper did was put a camera in front of some great actors and let them act. Fincher made the movie what it was, a great overall film as opposed to the actor-driven Hooper choice. The Academy had a chance to make a solid choice, but it straight up dropped the ball. So the error’s appropriate in this case.

Alright I think we’re letting our Best Picture allegiances already shine through, but let’s move onto that now.

SABA:  Once again, “The King’s Speech” took the stage for best picture and once again I don’t know if I agree with this choice. I mean this year was one of those years where all the movies were amazing choices for various reasons. I KNOW you wanted “Toy Story 3” (which I also love because it defines our childhood) but I really wanted “Social Network” or “The Kids Are All Right” because both, in my opinion, capture today’s generation. And they are amazing. This would be one of those situations where it should have been a tie, but like baseball, there are no ties in the Academy Awards.

SAM: No, of course there’s no tying in either. Like Jack Parker said, “I have a closet full of ties. I’ve got enough ties.” Personally like you said, I think “Toy Story 3” should have won. It was crafted the best out of all the nominees and got the biggest reaction I think from a wider audience, obviously a sign of a great film. But because it’s animation (said in the most snarky way possible), the voters didn’t seriously consider it. Jerks. Out of the more serious nominees, I thought TSN should have won because I really believe it’s the “Citizen Kane” of this generation. However, I’m cool with “The King’s Speech.” It was good Oscar fare (a WWII film about a leader, but he’s like us because he has faults) so nothing too surprising to see it win. I’ll call it a decent single in baseball terms. It’s solid and you’re happy to see it, but you’ll forget about it in a few days (or years in this case).

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