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The Fourth Annual Pajiba Academy Award Telecast Quiz and Contest

By C. Robert Dmitri | Lists | March 1, 2014 |

By C. Robert Dmitri | Lists | March 1, 2014 |

It’s Oscar time once again, movie fans, and thus I bring you the fourth annual test of your Oscar predictive abilities. As is the tradition, you’ll be picking winners for some of the questions, but we also like to mix it up with a little outside-the-box speculation.

To show you what a grand tradition this competition has, I give you the Pajiba Academy Award Prediction Hall of Fame - the full list of our past champions:

2011 Margrete
2012 =DocDoom=
2013 Robert

Yes, these folks were commenters just like you, but now they are immortalized as winners of the highest honor!

As always, if you are the winner and can find your own way to Los Angeles, I offer you the prize of treating you to one of those guided tours of the Dolby Theatre. (As of yet, no one has taken me up on this.)

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.)

If you have insider knowledge of the Oscar ceremony that applies to these questions, you are ineligible to win. Make sure you post your entry by the end of the day this Saturday, March 1st, as we’ll be closing the thread on Sunday morning several hours before the ceremony.

1. Ellen Degeneres is returning to the stage to host this year’s proceedings, and based on her talk show we know that Ellen loves to dance. True or false: at some point in the ceremony, Ellen will prompt, pull, or cajole someone seated in the audience into joining her for a dance either onstage or in the aisle. It can be staged or spontaneous, but the person that joins her must rise from a seat.

A) True
B) False

2. At some point during the evening, will Ellen (or anyone else) make any reference to her own contributions to the movies Finding Nemo, Edtv, or Mr. Wrong?

A) No mention of any of them.
B) Mention of one and only one.
C) Mention of two of them. It is the year of McConaughey, after all!
D) Mention of all three! DVD sales for Mr. Wrong must be salvaged!

3. This year’s magic word is “gravity.” Keeping in mind the movie has ten nominations, how many times will “gravity” be uttered aloud throughout the entire course of the program? Taped programs, presenters, announcers, winners, and anyone else count.

A) 10 - 16
B) 17 - 22
C) 23 - 26
D) 27 or more

4. In this quiz, most of the Oscar wins you’ll be predicting are the ones for which the “experts” are fairly divided on projecting the winner. You will not have the chance to receive the easy credit of answering Jared Leto, Gravity for visual effects, or 12 Years A Slave for adapted screenplay.

Here’s your first one: Which movie takes the Costume Design prize?
A) American Hustle
B) The Grandmaster
C) The Great Gatsby
D) The Invisible Woman
E) 12 Years A Slave

5. Here’s another competitive one. What wins Documentary Feature?

A) The Act Of Killing
B) Cutie and the Boxer
C) Dirty Wars
D) The Square
E) 20 Feet From Stardom

6. The presenters have been announced, and per the acting award tradition we know which ones Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway, and Christoph Waltz probably will be handing out. However, the others are more of a mystery. Take a guess at which of these announced Academy Award presenters will have the honor of announcing the Best Picture. In recent history this honor has usually gone to a previous winner, but that is not always the case. A couple of these folks have fulfilled this duty before.

A) Robert De Niro
B) Sally Field
C) Harrison Ford
D) Jamie Foxx
E) Whoopi Goldberg
F) Goldie Hawn
G) Bill Murray
H) Kim Novak
I) Sidney Poitier
J) Will Smith
K) Charlize Theron
L) someone else

7. Another presenter question: which of these announced folks will fulfill his or her presenting duties at the latest point in the ceremony?

A) Anna Kendrick
B) Benedict Cumberbatch
C) Andrew Garfield
D) Joseph Gordon-Levitt
E) Kerry Washington

8. Whether it occur in the opening monologue or elsewhere, sometimes people on the Academy Awards stage make reference to current events. Which of these topics will come up?

A) the Olympics
B) Obamacare
C) unrest abroad in Venezuela, Ukraine, or elsewhere
D) more than one of these
E) none of these

9. Here’s the token fashion question. Taking the dresses of the following ten ladies (all acting nominees) into account, which of the colors in the choices below will be the most frequent color (including its shades) worn on Oscar night: Lupita Nyongo, Jennifer Lawrence, Sally Hawkins, June Squibb, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, and Judi Dench? Note: my rudimentary skills at color distinction will be the final arbiter on determining the color of any given dress. Dresses with more than one of these colors can be counted multiple times for each color included. If any of the colors below tie for the lead, the leaders all will be counted as correct.

A) Green
B) Blue
C) Red
D) Pink
E) Black
F) Yellow
G) White

10. True or false: at some point during the evening someone on stage will say the name “Jordan Belfort,” the real-life inspiration for The Wolf of Wall Street. Played clips from the film do not count for the purposes of this question.

A) True
B) False

11. Yeah, I know it’s unlikely, but I’m never going to take this question out of the quiz. 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. An obviously staged “interruption” within the show does not count.)

A) True
B) False

12. Which film takes the prize for Best Foreign Language Film?

A) The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
B) The Great Beauty, Italy
C) The Hunt, Denmark
D) The Missing Picture, Cambodia
E) Omar, Palestine

13. Do you want to build a snowman? In Hollywood where it’s a pleasant 75 degrees almost 365 days of the year, you need special effects for that, but that hasn’t stopped the appreciation for Disney’s animated feature Frozen. It’s the favorite in two categories this year: Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“Let It Go”). Which prizes does it win?

A) both Animated Feature and Original Song
B) Animated Feature but not Original Song
C) Original Song but not Animated Feature
D) Neither Animated Feature nor Original Song

14. Remember when Jennifer Lawrence tripped going up the steps to accept her Oscar last year, thus furthering our adoration of her down-to-earth humility? True 0r false: someone will trip on the way up to the podium to accept an award this year as well.

A) True
B) False

15. This year Gravity stood out not only with its transportative visuals but also with its audio. As such, it is the favorite in Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Best Original Score. What will be the result in those three categories?

A) Gravity wins all three categories.
B) Gravity wins both Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, but another film - Her, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks, or The Book Thief - wins Best Original Score.
C) Gravity wins Best Original Score but only one of the other two awards.
D) Gravity only wins one of these three contests.
E) Gravity wins none of these three.

16. Once again this year, Best Live Action Short Film is one of the toughest to predict. If your favorite strategy is to go with the most appealing name, I’ve included the translations for you. Give it a try …

A) Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
B) Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
C) Helium
D) Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have To Take Care of Everything?)
E) The Voorman Problem

17. Which movie wins the prize for Best Production Design?

A) American Hustle
B) Gravity
C) The Great Gatsby
D) Her
E) 12 Years A Slave

18. Who wins for Best Original Screenplay?

A) , American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
B) , Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
C) , Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
D) , Her, Spike Jonze
E) , Nebraska, Bob Nelson

19. Cate Blanchett is a strong favorite for Best Actress, but this is a loaded field with three former Oscar-winners (Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, and Julia Roberts) and now perennial nominee Amy Adams. Regardless of who is making the speech, how long will the Best Actress’ speech be: over or under 120 seconds? (As a frame of reference, 150 seconds was the approximate length of Natalie Portman’s speech three years ago. Meryl Streep commanded the stage for 146 seconds two years ago. Jennifer Lawrence’s speech last year was substantially shorter.) I’ll be running the stopwatch.


20. Best Supporting Actress looks like a close race. Pick one of the supposed coin-flip favorites or take a chance on a big upset.

A) Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
B) Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
C) Lupita Nyongo, 12 Years A Slave
D) Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
E) June Squibb, Nebraska

21. We have another year of competitive parity in the most prominent categories, but it looks like Gravity with those ten nominations will lead the way with most wins on the strength of the technical categories. When the final tally is made, how many Oscars will Gravity win to give it the lead for the evening?

A) 5 or less
B) 6
C) 7
D) 8 or more
E) Gravity will not win the most Academy Awards this year.

22. Who is this year’s Best Actor?

A) Christian Bale, American Hustle - My wife told me never to attempt this character’s combover if it comes to that.
B) Bruce Dern, Nebraska - That’s some memorable hair too. This might be my favorite Alexander Payne movie, and I like all of them quite a bit.
C) Leonardo Dicaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street - The entire film might not have connected with me, but that Quaaludes scene was very funny. Leo will have his day eventually, whether it be for this one or another one.
D) Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave - I’ve been a fan of his ever since Dirty Pretty Things.
E) Matthew McConaughey, The Dallas Buyers Club - “Say man, you got [an Oscar]?” “No, not on me, man.” “It’d be a lot cooler if you did.”

23. What will win Best Picture?

A) 12 Years A Slave - Impressive film, even if it left me feeling fairly disconsolate. I kept hoping Christoph Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz character from Django Unchained would show up and kill all the slaveholders.
B) Gravity - I liked this one too, even if it reinforced my fears about going up in space and gave me vertigo.
C) American Hustle - A great soundtrack, great performances, and a science oven. What more could you want from a movie?
D) The Dallas Buyers Club - “Alright, alright, alright…”
E) Any of the other five Best Picture nominees! Yes, you get the rest of the field with this choice: The Wolf of Wall Street, Captain Phillips, Philomena, Her, and Nebraska.

24. 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. However, he does enjoy the ceremony and loves the dialogue about film that the Academy Awards inspire this time of year. He wishes you a fun viewing and thanks you for your participation in this trivial contest!

To assist in answering the above quiz, you can copy/paste the question numbers into your comment: