The Second Annual Pajiba Academy Award Telecast Quiz and Contest
We're doing this the low-tech way. Leave your answers as letters in the comments section, and I'll score them. (If a ludicrous number of people participate, I request that you be extremely patient.)
What's the prize? Once again you have your choice between an Oscar-winning DVD (title to be determined) or -- should you be in the LA area anytime in the near future -- my treating you to one of the guided tours of the Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscars. (Kodak can use the money, and I'd enjoy your company!) Of course, the real prize in these parts is bragging rights, isn't it? (Publisher's Note: I will add a Pajiba T-shirt to the pool. -- DR)
If you have inside knowledge of the Oscar ceremony you are ineligible to compete, unless your name is Billy Crystal, in which case I'll be happy to hang out with you for an afternoon at the Kodak.
1. As I just said, there is cause to rejoice, Oscar watchers! Billy Crystal is back as host! No doubt we'll be treated to another of those montages in which Billy is digitally inserted into scenes from this year's nominees. Or is there a doubt? Crystal's opening routine will include...
A) one of those video montages
B) a song and dance number
C) both A) and B)
D) neither A) nor B)
2. True or false: A star pulled from the audience will join Crystal on stage at some point in some sort of hosting entertainment stunt. (Think something along the lines of Anne Hathaway joining Hugh Jackman on stage a few years back.)
3. Out of appreciation for the drinking game started by the Bridesmaids ladies at the Golden Globes this year, which range of numbers best describes how many times we will hear the word "Scorsese" throughout the entire course of the ceremony? Presenters, announcers, winners, and anyone else count. Feel free to play along with shots at home.
A) 0 - 4
B) 5 - 9
C) 10 - 14
D) 15 or more
4. Bad news this year again. In this quiz, most of the Oscar wins you'll be predicting are the ones for which the "experts" are extremely divided on projecting the winner. You will not have the chance to receive the easy credit of answering "Christopher Plummer," no matter how much you love his version of "Edelweiss" in The Sound Of Music or his underrated and overlooked performance as Commodus in Fall Of The Roman Empire.
Here's your first one: Which movie takes Best Art Direction?
A) The Artist
B) Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
D) Midnight In Paris
E) War Horse
5. Here's another tough one. What wins Best Costume Design? Always go with the period piece, right? But which period?
B) The Artist
D) Jane Eyre
6. Which of these announced Academy Award presenters will fulfill presenting duties at the latest point in the ceremony?
A) Tom Hanks
B) Tom Cruise
C) Halle Berry
D) Angelina Jolie
E) Kermit The Frog & Miss Piggy
7. True or false: At least one award recipient will acknowledge unrest and conflict in the Middle East during an acceptance speech. For the purposes of this question, a mention outside an acceptance speech does not count. (Yes, I used this question last year. I'm reminded of a sad joke I once heard in which God acknowledges that Middle East peace is beyond even his vision.)
8. Uggie The Dog from The Artist is perhaps the most adorable movie dog ever, right? (I do recommend you give Flike in Umberto D. a chance, though.)
True of false: Uggie, who has been making the rounds at other award ceremonies, ends up on the stage at some point in the evening and entertains us with his physical comedy.
9. This question is for demographic purposes only. You are:
A) a man
B) a Muppet
C) a very manly Muppet
D) a Muppet of a man
E) prefer not to answer
10. True or false: at some point during the ceremony, someone who is not scheduled to be on stage will pull some sort of publicity stunt and make an appearance. (For the purposes of this question, the proxy appearance of Sacheen Littlefeather for Marlon Brando when he refused his Best Actor Oscar would have counted. An incident in the Kanye West / Taylor Swift ballpark obviously counts.)
11. Best Documentary Feature seems to be this year's toughest call per the pundits. Which will it be?
A) Hell and Back Again
B) If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
C) Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
12. Best Documentary Short Subject is not much easier if at all. Good luck calling this one correctly ...
A) The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
B) God is the Bigger Elvis
C) Incident in New Baghdad
D) Saving Face
E) The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
13. True or false: at least TWO award winners will at some point during an acceptance speech apologize for forgetting someone or acknowledge that he or she is doing so. (We had this question last year as well, and I was surprised when not a single winner fumbled in this manner.)
14. An Oscar voter once told me that it is impossible to distinguish from the finished product of a film what precisely went into Sound "Mixing" and what went into Sound "Editing" on any given film. Thus, you'll frequently see the two categories swept by the same film, assuming that there is overlap in the favored nominees. What happens this year?
A) Hugo wins both Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
B) War Horse wins both awards.
C) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo wins both awards.
D) Hugo and War Horse split the awards either way.
E) None of the above. (This is Pajiba favorite Drive's only chance for an Oscar!)
15. Best Live Action Short Film is a mystery to me. Give it a try ...
C) The Shore
D) Time Freak
E) Tuba Atlantic
16. Which movie wins the prize for Best Visual Effects? Will this be the avenue used to acknowledge Andy Serkis' performance? Or will one of the other fantastical entries earn the Oscar?
A) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
C) Real Steel
D) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
E) Transformers: Dark of the Moon
17. Hail to the underappreciated writers! Who wins for Best Original Screenplay?
A) Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
B) Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
C) J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
D) Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris
E) Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
18. Viola Davis is the current favorite, but Meryl Streep could sneak in for the win almost 30 years after her last victory. I'd like to see recognition for Michelle Williams' performance as Marilyn Monroe. Rooney Mara and Glenn Close round out the field. Regardless of who is making the speech, how long will the Best Actress' speech be: over or under 150 seconds? (150 seconds was the approximate length of Natalie Portman's speech last year.)
19. Best Cinematography is not easy to predict this year either. Will the black and white aesthetic of The Artist work in its favor? Will Lubezki's natural-light lensing for Malick stand out? Will the 3-D beauty of Hugo reign? Which film will it be?
A) The Artist
B) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
D) The Tree Of Life
E) War Horse
20. The Artist is the current favorite to take home the most total Academy Awards this year, but there is more parity than usual in this year's nominees. Over or under four and a half for the total Academy Awards won by The Artist?
A) over 4.5
B) under 4.5
21. Who is the Best Actor?
A) Demian Bichir - the longshot
B) George Clooney - Danny Ocean and Batman nadir
C) Jean Dujardin - the supremely charming Frenchman
D) Gary Oldman - that psycho corrupt cop who loves Beethoven but later won us over as Sirius Black
E) Brad Pitt - Danny Ocean's best buddy and defender of New Orleans
22. What will win Best Picture?
A) The Artist - an irresistible silent film tribute to film itself
B) The Help - I haven't seen it yet.
C) The Descendants - Alexander Payne's return to his usual sweet spot between wry humor and heartbreak, with a little less of the humor than his other films
D) Hugo - I've heard it's magical and wonderful and another tribute to film itself, but I have not seen it yet either.
E) Any of of the other five Best Picture nominees! Yes, you get the rest of the field with this choice! (Don't fall for it. This is a sucker's bet.)
23. The tried and true tiebreaker: to the nearest minute, how long will this broadcast monstrosity run?
If this thing is still tied after that, we go to a random drawing. Good luck, movie fans, and thanks for participating!
C. Robert Dimitri does not care about Oscar snubs, who wins, and who loses. He especially does not care about "best dressed," "worst dressed," and all the fashion hubbub. However, he does enjoy the ceremony and loves the film dialogue that the Academy Awards spawn this time of year.
To assist in answering the above quiz, you can copy/paste the question numbers into your comment: