I may loathe watching Oscars ceremonies, but love it when “Best Pictures” comes up as a category in trivia! Because of that, I decided to sign up for the “Best Pictures” trivia game on Sunday night (a night which traditionally shows the Oscars ceremony which I typically don’t watch unless it’s Seth MacFarlane or Steve Martin hosting). I recruited one of my regular “trivia pardners” Kimberly to join me for the game.
This is a category that’s near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons. One, I’ve always loved movies – as a kid, I sat through countless movies that would end up being nominated – or winning – Oscars for best picture (my parents weren’t keen on getting sitters)! Two, I decided early on in my trivia team’s days that learning the name of each and every movie winning the Oscar for best picture would be my goal (which was inspired by a bartender named Nina whom had also said she did the same thing).
It’s (sort of) paid off. We won a handful of money in a trivia tournament in 2018 when we had a final trivia question about Oscar winning films which went like this:
Final Category – Movie Titles
Since 1995, four pairs of films that have won the Academy Award for best picture have full titles ending in the same two letters. Spotlight and Moonlight are two of those films. Name two other pairs of those four pairs.
About a year later, I played as a “hired gun” with a team which came very close to winning money in a tournament based on this Oscar-related question:
Before Green Book won the Academy Award for best picture in 2019, what movie with a primary or secondary color in its its English name was the most recent to win best picture (it was adapted from a book)?
We finished only one spot away from the “money zone” in this game, which was still exciting for the other three people with whom I played that day (they’d never been to a trivia finals before in several years of playing).
Let’s focus on the present day, shall we? In Sunday night’s game, we made a nice comeback at the end – finished in second place after having been in a very box office bomb caliber ninth place going into the final. Isn’t it always exciting when those things happen in trivia? First place would’ve been more fun, but hey, they’re not offering guaranteed prizes in every game, so that’s… OK!
Fun game – everyone contributed a bit – even my husband Mike (whose sister used to love watching Gone With the Wind), and Brent Scully, who happened to remember a little detail about The Silence of the Lambs that nobody else could remember (virtual fist bump time)! Kim helped keep me focused when straining my brain on the mystery round (she’s a teacher, so she has mad skills in that regard).
Now how about the questions?
1. Settings – Name the U.S. state serving as the setting for the 1939 film Gone With the Wind? Mike stepped in with the right guess here.
2. Teams – Give the first name of any character portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, or Brian d’Arcy James in Spotlight. Saw this movie once, and all I could obsess about after watching it was how many of the actors in the movie have also played “superhero” characters in other films. Though we did have the right instincts in putting a “biblical” name as one of our guesses…miss.
3. Nominees – Name any two actors nominated for their work in 12 Years A Slave whom did NOT win? Got one correct, not both (turns out the other person’s name we put down was also credited as a producer, which means he won). Miss.
4. Rivals – Antonio Salieri is the rival of what 1980s title character? Finally we used our 10 points!
5. Fights – In The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, after capturing Frodo, a group of orcs fight each other over what item, allowing Sam an opportunity to rescue his friend? Mike again stepped in to help jog my memory here…
6. Missions – Brock Lovett is the head of the mission aboard the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh in what film? Miss, though we did think about the right answer…
7. Songs – What is the title of the song sung by the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music? Miss, we picked a different song from the movie…
8. Quotes – “My name is ______. There are people who’d pay a lot of money for that information, but then your daughter would lose a father – instead of gaining a husband.” Another miss, we were fast moving from “blockbuster” to “Razzie award winners.” I picked the right franchise at least!
9. Hiding Places – While searching her home in Ohio, Clarice Starling finds hidden photographs of Frederica Bimmel in what object? Brent stepped in here (woot)!
10. Answers – Which of the following is NOT an answer given by Jamal on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
A) Samuel Colt
B) Abraham Lincoln
D) The truth alone triumphs
Mike and I were in our “gaming room” while we played this game, so I rolled a die to get the answer. The die failed us (that’s how desperate we’d become by that point).
Mystery – Decipher the anagram to reveal the name of a film that has earned the Academy Award for Best Picture.M1. “I Hanged Open the Pint” (1930s)
M2. “A Milk Lengthens” (1940s)
M3. “Own Rotten Father” (1950s)
M4. “Own a Cable Airfare” (1960s)
Thank the gods for two things – one, I had paper/pen with me while I played this game (always helps with anagram questions), and two, I played the “best picture winners from 1928 to 1969” quiz on the Sporcle site hours before the game. So we got all of these (boy did we need those points)!
Final Category – Best Pictures (duh)
What is the most recent film to win Best Picture without also winning either a Best Director or a Best Screenplay Oscar?Laziness reigned supreme here. I started writing down best picture winners beginning with 2000, and thankfully, I was able to end my list really, really early. I knew that a certain movie I wrote down didn’t win best director (though at least one actor from the movie won) and as the trivia gods would decree later, that turned out to be correct.
We finished in second with 63 points (I think), which was the same number of points the first place team had going into the final (they bet it all and missed). So it was an exciting little moment in our basement for a bit (cheering in celebration is a bit different via a Zoom call than it is when you’re actually with your trivia team…but it was still pretty sweet)! Tuesday may be the next trivia night (that is TBD at this point). As always, Go Pods, and stay classy, Billy Flynn!