SPORTS MOVIES are no strangers to the Academy Awards, from Rocky (Best Picture, 1976) to Jerry Maguire (Best Supporting Actor, 1996) to The Blind Side (Best Actress, 2009). But among this year's nine nominees for Best Picture, the closest any come to sports is Fences, in which the main character, Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), is a former Negro leagues star. Here are our awards in a weak year for sports on screen.
BEST ACTOR: ROBERT DENIRO
Hands of Stone
The award goes to DeNiro for his performance in Raging Bull in 1980. That's a great boxing movie; this film about middleweight champion Roberto Duran is not, despite DeNiro's portrayal of trainer Ray Arcel.
BEST LEADING ACTORS: KEGS
Everybody Wants Some
Director Richard Linklater's shaggy comedy about a college baseball team in 1980 affectionately captures the camaraderie, decadence and competitive spirit of young ballplayers.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTORS: PAWNS
Queen of Katwe
Madina Nalwanga stars in the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who emerged from poverty in Uganda to become a chess master at age 10. We give Nalwanga and the cast three rooks.
This award would go to a documentary about Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympic Games. Alas, this film is not a documentary (how else to explain a smarmy Jason Sudeikis as Owens's coach?).
BEST COSTUME: A CERVICAL COLLAR
Bleed for This
In a true story, middleweight boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) spends much of the film in a neck brace after breaking two cervical vertebrae in a 1991 car crash. It's a cautionary tale: Pazienza wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
THEY SAID IT
"THERE'S NOTHING ABOUT IT IN THE RULE BOOK, SO WE'RE ALL A BIT CONFUSED."
John Fallon Jr.
Manager of the Glasgow, Scotland--based Shettleston FC junior team, expressing his dismay after goalie Gary Whyte was sent off for urinating behind the net during the game.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Last weekend, for the first time in its 140-year history, the Westminster Dog Show included cats.