Calling all Oscar buffs: How will you do on this trivia quiz?


Think you’re up to speed on all things Oscar? Take this trivia quiz and see how well you do. Answers below.

Best picture

Arguably the two front-runners, “1917” and “Parasite” (don’t argue with Cliff Booth if he advocates for “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood,” especially if you’re on his boat), are in line for an Oscar rarity: Neither has any acting nominations. “Parasite” did win the SAG prize for ensemble cast, but it got no Oscar love for its actors. Still, 11 previous films have won best picture without any acting nominations. What was the last one?

Lead actor

Joaquin Phoenix is the runaway favorite to win the first-ever lead-actor Oscar for a comic book-based performance, and “Joker” leads the field with 11 nominations, including best picture. What were the two previous comic-book movies to win an Oscar for acting or be nominated for best picture?


Lead actress

That’s entertainment! Which is probably a big reason why Hollywood loves Renée Zellweger in “Judy.” Sure, Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line,” Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose” and Natalie Portman as ballerina Nina Sayers in “Black Swan” won a long time ago, right? When was the last time someone won the lead-actress Oscar for playing an entertainer?

Seven seasoned film journalists predict the winners in 10 Oscar categories. Vote for your picks!

Feb. 3, 2020


The drama in this category might have been upped by nominating life partners Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”) — but neither got the nod. When did a former married couple compete against each other in this category?


No woman has won for adapted screenplay since Diana Ossana shared the award with Larry McMurtry in 2005; no woman has won for original screenplay since Diablo Cody in 2007. Here’s looking at you, Greta Gerwig and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. But hey, what were those winning films in 2005 and 2007?

Cynthia Erivo performs “Stand Up,” which she cowrote for the film “Harriet.”


Original song

If 33-year-old Cynthia Erivo wins as lead actress for “Harriet” or for the original song she cowrote for the movie (“Stand Up”), she will become the youngest EGOT honoree thus far. She previously won the Daytime Emmy, Grammy and Tony for her work in the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple.” Whom would she unseat from that “youngest-ever” legendary title, and what unique EGOT distinction does fellow nominee Robert Lopez hold?

International feature

All eyes are on “Parasite” and its six nominations — how many can it win? Can it win best picture? In case you’re wondering, six is not the most nominations a film in a foreign language has received. What is? And how many would “Parasite” have to win to break the record?

Visual effects

One of the motion picture academy’s biggest tells is whether a film nominated for visual effects is also nominated for best picture. Between “Star Wars” earning nominations for both in 1978 until last year, there were 17 years in which a VFX nominee was also a best picture nominee (occasionally, there were more than one that had both nominations). And 16 of those 17 times, the VFX Oscar went to a film with a best picture nomination. That’s 94%. This year, VFX candidates “The Irishman” and “1917” both have best-picture nominations. Just saying. In the meantime, the only year best-picture nominees were also up for visual effects and none won was 2015. And that year, there were three of them: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian” and “The Revenant.” What won instead? (Hint: Don’t turn to deus to save you on this one)

March 1998: James Cameron wins the best-director Oscar.
King of the world, king of the ratings: James Cameron’s director win was just the tip of the iceberg for “Titanic” — the juggernaut won 11 Oscars, and the 1998 telecast of the ceremony set a still-unmatched viewership record.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times )

The telecast

Last year’s hostless telecast was about three hours, 23 minutes. Over the previous nine years, with hosts, the length averaged three hours, 32 minutes, but does size really matter? Last year’s show did represent an uptick in viewership of more than 3 million from the previous year, to 29.6 million. But the 1998 show, in which “Titanic” won a boatload of awards (including best picture), still boasts the largest audience in Oscar history. Roughly what do you think that telecast’s running time was? (Get within 15 minutes of the number to win a metaphorical cigar.)


Best picture: “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)
Lead actor: “The Dark Knight” won for Heath Ledger’s Joker (2009). “Black Panther” was nominated for best picture last year (2019).
Lead actress: Emma Stone, as actress Mia Dolan, in “La La Land” (2016).
Director: 2010: Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) and her ex, James Cameron (“Avatar”). Bigelow won.
Screenplay(s): “Brokeback Mountain” (2005); “Juno” (2007).
Original song: John Legend was 39 when he completed the quadruple crown with an Emmy for producing the live TV version of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Lopez, previous Oscar winner for both “Let It Go” and “Remember Me,” is the only double-EGOT winner.
International feature: Taiwan’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and Mexico’s “Roma” each received 10 nominations; “Crouching Tiger” and Sweden’s “Fanny and Alexander” each won four Oscars.
Visual effects: In 2015, “Ex Machina” won for visual effects.
The telecast: The 1998 show ran three hours, 47 minutes and was viewed by a reported 57.25 million people, sinking the myth that it’s the show’s length that tunes viewers out.