Leonardo DiCaprio

Eric Charbonneau/WireImage

The greatest night in Hollywood is the Oscars, right? 

Ha, says the devilish devil's advocate!

The legit reasons the Screen Actors Guild Awards are better:


1. Leonardo DiCaprio's Nominated: Unlike the Academy Awards, the SAGs embraced, not vetoed, the J. Edgar leading man. Ditto for DiCaprio costar Armie Hammer. (Unfortunately, Russell Crowe, there's still no nomination for Ryan Gosling.)

2. Brad Pitt and Kyle Chandler Are Nominated: Unlike the Academy Awards, the SAGs nominates both movie and TV stars. You could argue that on this point the SAGs are the equal of the Golden Globes, but the SAGs doesn't go to as obvious lengths to liquor up its honorees, hence speeches, like Sandra Bullock's from a couple years back (even including all its now-cringeworthy shout-outs to Jesse James), are heartfelt, warm and, added bonus, coherent. 

3. The SAGs Are Earlier: No, not earlier in the evening, although with an 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT start time, they are indeed earlier in the evening than the 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT Oscars. What is meant here is that the SAGs let you know who's going to win at February's Academy Awards in January. Last year, if you watched the SAGs, you could schedule a night away from your TV on Oscar night, confident that The King's Speech, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo would prevail. (And they did.)   

4. The SAGs Are Shorter: By the time Best Picture's announced at the Oscars, you're grown, graduated from college and opened an IRA. The SAG Awards, meanwhile, are a brisk, no-filler two hours, even including all the Southland commercials.

5. Betty White: Credit the SAGs, not that other Bea Arthur-snubbing show, for helping make the Golden Girls star a red-hot property into her 90s. At the 2010 show, the SAGs presented White, then a spry 88, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Within weeks, White was starring in a Super Bowl commercial and stirring a successful Facebook campaign to land her a Saturday Night Live gig.

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