In the strangest awards season ever, the Oscars are finally less than two weeks away. So here’s some trivia to help you impress your vaccinated-only guests at your Oscar-watch party. Pay attention to the questions; clues may lie within.
1. Who has the most career nominations among Black actresses? It would be foolish to try to fence her in.
2. Which two of this year’s best picture nominees occur at the same time, even referencing each other’s events?
3. Who holds the record for most Oscar nominations received by a woman in one year? She may find a home at the academy after this.
4. Two women are nominated as directors (Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” and Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland”), the most in one year. In 92 previous years, only five other women were nominated. Can you name more than one? Hint: One won so didn’t need a special place to put the pain of losing.
5. What’s the only “X”-rated film to win best picture? Don’t everyone shout it out at once; I don’t want everybody talkin’ at me.
6. The pandemic rendered box-office numbers all but irrelevant in 2020, but only twice in the last 50 years has the worldwide top grosser won best picture. Name either winner. Bonus: Two animated films in that time have been their year’s top grossers and won the animated feature Oscar. If you can you name one, don’t hold it back anymore.
7. Billie Eilish’s James Bond movie theme “No Time to Die” became the first Grammy-winning song for visual media from an unreleased film. Two Bond themes have won the Oscar. Do you have even a specter of a chance to name them? The first was not sung by Chicken Little.
8. There are two instances in which two actors have won Oscars for playing the same role (in different movies). What two character roles earned Oscars for four separate actors? No one will laugh if you don’t get it.
9. According to Martin Scorsese and some others, superhero movies are “not cinema.” That must come as an awful shock to the three Oscar nominees who have directed Marvel Cinematic Universe films. One’s MCU debut is due this November. Who are they?
And finally, if you get this without Googling the answer, things are really going your way:
10. LaKeith Stanfield’s nomination this year for supporting actor in “Judas and the Black Messiah” raised old questions about how voters decide what performances are lead or supporting. Decades ago, an actor was nominated in both supporting and lead categories in the same year — for the same performance. Who? What the? How?
1. Viola Davis received her fourth this year, for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” She has won, for “Fences.”
2. “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
3. Chloe Zhao, with four for “Nomadland” — for adapted screenplay, best picture (she’s a producer), director and editing.
4. Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker” — the only winner so far), Jane Campion (“The Piano”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) and Lina Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties”).
5. “Midnight Cowboy” (1969); it has since been re-rated R.
6. “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.” Bonus: “Toy Story 3” and “Frozen.”
7. “Skyfall” (Adele) and “Writing’s on the Wall” (Sam Smith, from “Spectre”).
8. Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” and Robert De Niro in “The Godfather Part II”) and the Joker (Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” and Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”).
9. Kenneth Branagh (“Thor”) has four noms. Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) is a writing winner. Chloe Zhao (the upcoming “Eternals”) has four nominations for “Nomadland.”
10. Barry Fitzgerald, for “Going My Way” (1944). The academy later changed its rules so a performance could be nominated only in one of the acting categories.