Test your Oscars knowledge with this trivia quiz
Most of the best movies, you want to go back and watch again. In this Oscar quiz, you’re going to have to go back and look at your answers again — if you want to score a “perfect 10.”
1. Jane Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for the directing Oscar, and is heavily favored to win this time in a rematch from 1994. That year, her film lost in both best picture and directing categories while she won for screenplay. What film won the Oscars for best picture and directing that year?
[Need a hint? It’s a rematch, so the director who won in 1994 is nominated this year. Want the answer? OK, check the BuzzMeter if you must!]
2. Three best-picture winners since 2005 have taken place in Los Angeles (“The Artist,” “Crash,” “Million Dollar Baby”). Boston has had two in that time (“Spotlight” and “The Departed”). Only one best picture winner in the last 40 years has taken place primarily in the state of New York. Which one, and in what city?
[Need a hint? Here’s a clip from the next movie by the same director, which also won several major Oscars.]
3. Meryl Streep has been nominated for performances in a drama with music (“Music of the Heart,” 2000) and a comedy-drama with music (“Florence Foster Jenkins,” 2017), but only once for an actual musical. What was it?
4. Two films hold the dubious record of being nominated for more than 10 Oscars and winning none. The first was the 1977 ballet drama “The Turning Point.” What was the last one to accomplish that feat?
[Need a hint? Here’s a clip of the amazing Cynthia Erivo performing a song from the Broadway musical adaptation of the book on which that second film was based. Careful: After the performance, the host says the name of the show.]
5. Two-time winner Denzel Washington is nominated for his performance in “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Only one performer has ever won for a Shakespearean role (Laurence Olivier for “Hamlet,” 1948), and only two (so far) have triumphed for a reimagined adaptation of Shakespeare (both Rita Moreno and George Chakiris in “West Side Story,” 1961). Gwyneth Paltrow won for her performance in a story that spins off and directly references a work of the Bard’s. In “Shakespeare in Love,” her character performed a role in the original staging of what Shakespeare play?
[Need a hint? Here’s a clip from the film that shows her rehearsing the play without naming it.]
6. U2 has two Oscar nominations for original songs from movies, one from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (2014: “Ordinary Love”). What’s the other film?
[Need a hint? Here’s the song without the film’s title.]
7. Two songs originated in movie performances by Madonna have won the Oscar. One of those songs is “You Must Love Me” from “Evita” (1997). What’s the other one?
[Need a hint? here’s a trailer for the film without the song in it.]
8. What or whom do answers 1 and 4 have in common?
9. What or whom do answers 3 and 7 have in common?
10. One movie has answers 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9 in common. What makes one version of that film a “perfect 10,” Oscar-wise?
1. “Schindler’s List.” It won best picture, director and adapted screenplay, while Campion’s “The Piano” was nominated for picture and director and won for original screenplay (Campion).
2. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”; Manhattan (New York City). No, “Green Book” doesn’t count. It has scenes in the Bronx (New York City) but takes place primarily, as the question asks, on the road in the American South (Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, etc.).
3. “Into the Woods” (2014). No, she wasn’t nominated for the much bigger-grossing “Mamma Mia!” (2008) — $603 million worldwide vs. $213 million worldwide for “Woods.” In fact, “Mamma Mia!” is by far her biggest grosser (the sequel “Mamma Mia! Here I Go Again” is No. 2 with $399 million) , though “Don’t Look Up” (2021) might actually be her most seen film ... we may never know.
4. “The Color Purple” (1985).
5. “Romeo and Juliet.”
6. “Gangs of New York” (2003: “The Hands That Built America”).
7. “Sooner or Later” from “Dick Tracy” (1990).
8. Steven Spielberg directed both films.
9. Stephen Sondheim wrote “Into the Woods” and wrote and won the Oscar for “Sooner or Later.”
10. “West Side Story,” of course. Its lyrics are written by Sondheim, the new version is directed by Spielberg, it takes place in New York (Manhattan, to be precise), involves gangs of New York and is an adaptation of “Romeo & Juliet.” Why is it a perfect 10? The 1961 version (directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins) is the only film to win exactly 10 Oscars.
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