Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 Oscars Quiz

The 87th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.  As you prepare for the big night, why not challenge yourself and try Number 16's fifth annual Oscars quiz.  There are 10 questions.  Good luck!


1.  This year, 84-year-old Robert Duvall was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Judge Joseph Palmer in The Judge.  How many Oscars has the veteran actor won in his lengthy career?

A.  Robert Duvall's nomination for The Judge is his seventh nomination, but has never won an Oscar.

B.  To date, he has won three Academy Awards.

C.  To date, he has won one Academy Award.

D.  To date, Duvall has won two Oscars.

E,  To date, he has taken home four Oscars.

2.  Dustin Hoffman has received seven Academy Award nominations, all for Best Actor.  How many Academy Awards has he won, and for which films?


A.  Hoffman has won three Best Actor Academy Awards for his performances in The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy and Kramer Vs. Kramer.

B.  Hoffman has won two Best Actor Academy Awards - for Kramer vs Kramer and Rain Man.

C,  He has won one Academy Award and it was for Kramer vs.Kramer.

D,  He has won four Academy Awards for his performances in Kramer vs, Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man and All the President's Men.

E,  He has won two Academy Awards - for Midnight Cowboy and Rain Man.

3.  What is the longest film to have ever won the Oscar for Best Picture?

A.  Ben-Hur

B.  Titanic

C.  Gone with the Wind

D.  Mrs. Miniver

E.  Lawrence of Arabia

4.  What year were the Oscars first televised?

A.  1953

B.  1951

C,  1949

D,  1950

E.  1952

5.  Who are the only brother and sister to even win Oscars for acting.

A.  Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty

B.  Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda

C.  Julia Roberts and Eric Roberts

D.  Ethel Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore

E.  No sister and brother combination has ever won Academy Awards for acting.

6. Who was the first actor to refuse an Academy Award for Best Actor?

A.  Marlon Brando

B.  Woody Allen

C.   John

D.   Peter Fonda

E.  George C. Scott

7.  Who is the only Oscar winner whose parents were also Academy Award winner?

A.  John Barrymore

B.  Haley Mills

C.  Liza Minnelli

D.  Vanessa Redgrave

E.   Alan Ladd

8.  Did Robin Williams, who passed away on August 11, 2014, ever win an Oscar during his career?

A.  Yes, he won an Oscar for Best Support Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting.

B.  Yes, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in Dead Poets Society.

C.  Yes, he won for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Good Morning, Vietnam.

D.  Yes, he actually won two Oscars - for Fisher King and Good Will Hunting.

E.  No, Robin Williams never won an Oscar

9.   Five British actors have been nominated for acting Oscars in 2015.  Who was the first British actor to win an Academy Award?

A,  Charlie Chaplin

B.  Charles Laughton

C.  Vivien Leigh

D,  George Arliss

E.  Laurence Olivier

10.  True or false: To date, three actors have won Oscars for roles in which they didn't utter a single word?

A.  False.  Four actors have won Academy Awards for portraying characters that did not speak.

B.  False.  No actor has won an Oscar for a role for which they did not speak.

C.  False.  Only one actor has won an Academy Award for such a role.

D.  False   Two actors have won for non-speaking roles.

E.  True.  Three actors have won Oscars for roles in which they didn't utter a single word?


1.  C

Robert Duvall's Oscar nomination for The Judge is his seventh.  He has won once, at the 56th Academy Awards in 1984.  Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone presented him with the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Mac Sledge, an alcoholic country singer, in Tender Mercies (1983).

Duvall other Oscar nominations include Best Actor in a Supporting Role for A Civil Action (1998), Apocalypse Now (1979) and The Godfather (1972).  He was also nominated for Best Actor in Leading Role for The Apostle (1997) and The Great Santini (1979).

Duvall in his Oscar-winning role in Teder Mercies

Duvall's Oscar win in 1984.

2.  B

Dustin Hoffman has won two Oscars for Best Actor - for Kramer vs. Kramer in 1980 and Rain Man in 1989. He was nominated for The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, Tootsie and Wag the Dog but did not win.

3.  C

To date, Gone with the Wind (1939) is the longest film to have ever won an Oscar for Best Picture. Gone with the Wind clocks in at a whopping 234 minutes. (three hours and 54 minutes) - almost four hours.

4.  A

The first televised Academy Awards show was broadcast on March 19, 1953.  It was held simultaneously at the RKO Pannteges Theatre in Hollywood California and the NBC International Theatre in New York City.  Bob Hope hosted the main ceremony in Hollywood, while actor Conrad Nagel presided over the smaller ceremony in New York City so performers working on Broadway could take part.

5.  D

Ethel Barrymore's Oscar win 1945

Marie Dressler and Lionel Barrymore after winning Oscars in 1931

To date, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore are the only brother and sister to ever win Oscars for acting. Lionel Barrymore won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Free Soul (1931), while Ethel Barrymore won for Best Supporting Actress in None But the Lonely Heart (1944).  She received her Academy Award in 1945.

Note:  Both Shirley MacLaine and Wareen Beatty have won Academy Awards.  Howver, Beatty's Oscar win was in the Best Director category.  He received an Academy Award in 1982 for directing the film Reds.

6.  E

George C. Scott as Patton

In 1971, the late George C. Scott became the first actor to refuse a Best Actor Oscar when he turned down the award for his role as General George S. Patton in the film Patton.  Scott wrote a letter to the Motion Picture Academy in which he stated that he didn't feel comfortable being in competition with other actors.  He was famously quoted as describing the Oscars as a "meat parade."  In 1972, Marlon Brando refused his Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather as a protest against Hollywood's treatment of native Americans.

The first person to refuse any Oscar was American screenwriter Dudley Nichols.  In 1935, Nichols turned down an Academy Award  for his screenplay of The Informer because the Screen Writers Guild of America was on strike against the movie studios at the time. He served as president of the organization in 1937 and 1938

Dudley Nichols

7.  C

To date, Liza Minnelli is the only Oscar winner whose parents (Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli) also both won Academy Awards.  Liza won a Best Actress Academy Award in 1973 for her performance as Sally Bowles in the film Cabaret.

In 1940, Mickey Rooney presented Liza's mother, the great Judy Garland, with an Academy Juvenile Award for her work in 1939 in The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms.  Judy was nominated in the Best Actress category for her performances in A Star is Born (1954) and as Best Supporting Actress for Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) but did not win.

Judy was unable to attend the Academy Awards in 1955 when she was up for an Oscar for A Star is Born.  She was in hospital, having given birth to her only son, Joey Luft.  As it turned out, however, Grace Kelly won the Best Actress Award that year for The Country Girl.  In 1962, Rita Moreno received the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in West Side Story over Judy's in Judgement at Nuremberg.

In 1959, Liza'a father, film director Vincente Minnelli won an Academy Award for directing the movie Gigi.

Liza celebrating her Oscar win

Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in 1940

Vincente Minelli receiving Oscar from Millie Perkins

8.  A

Robin Williams with Oscar for Good Will Hunting in 1998

Robin Williams won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 70th Academy Awards in 1998.  He won for his portrayal of Dr, Sean Maquire, the psychology teacher who helps Matt Damon's character in the film Good Will Hunting (1997).

Williams also received Oscar nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performances in The Fisher King (1991), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987).

9.  D

George Arliss

George Arliss was the first British actor to win an Academy Award.  He won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in the 1930 film The Green Goddess.  Arliss was born in London in 1868 and was also the earliest-born actor to win an Academy Award.

By the way, here is a list of the five British actors up for Oscars in 2015:
The nominees for Best Actor in a Leading role include Eddie Redmayne as Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch for his role as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. The nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role include Rosamund Pike as Amy Elliott-Dunne in Gone Girl and Felicy Jones as Jane Wilde Hawking in The Theory of Everything.  In addition, Keira Knightley has been nominated in the Best Supporting actress category for her performance as Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game.

10.  E

It is true that three three actors have won Oscars for roles in which they didn't utter a single word. They are Jane Wyman, Johnny Belinda (1948); Sir John Mills, Ryan’s Daughter (1970); Holly Hunter, The Piano (1993).  In Johnny Belinda, Jane Wyman plays a deaf/mute  woman who is raped. In Ryan's Daughter, Sir John Mills plays Michael, a mentally impaired man, the so-called "village idiot."  In The Piano, Holly Hunter plays Ada McGrath, a woman who has not spoken since she was six years old, and no one knows why.

Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda

John Mills in Ryan's Daughter

Holly Hunter in The Piano

- Joanne

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015: Is there love at first sight?

Whoever loved that loved not at first sight?

William Shakespeare
- From As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 5

The above line comes from the Shakespearean comedy As You Like It and the words are spoken by the shepherd Phoebe.  In a case of mistaken identity, Phoebe falls in love with Rosalind who is disguised as man named Ganymede.  Phoebe's comment about love at first sight appears in quotations in the text of the play because its original source is the Christopher Marlowe's poem Hero and Leander.  It is Shakespeare's tribute to Marlowe, a man who greatly influenced him.  Below is an excerpt from Marlowe's Hero and Leander.

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;

And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?                              

Christopher Marlowe was a playwright and poet in Elizabethan England.  He was born in 1564, the same year as William Shakespeare, and was mysteriously murdered in 1593.   His poem expresses the idea that "fate" overpowers "will" in determining matters of love.  It's the notion that love is written in the stars and that we have no control over it

Shakespeare also explores the same notion in Romeo and Juliet.  Remember that Romeo and Juliet are known as the "star-crossed lovers." Juliet would have preferred not to fall in love with Romeo, a Montague, the only son of her worst enemy. In Act 1, Scene 5, when her nurse reveals Romeo's identity to her, she is mortified.  She declares the following:

My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

Shakespeare's Juliet feels it is too late to escape the fate of falling in love with the son of her mortal foe.  It cannot be undone.  It is her unalterable destiny.  Romeo, for his part, is immediately becomes lovestruck too, with a person he is supposed to hate.

As St. Valentine's Day nears, it seems appropriate to ponder the question of whether there is indeed true love at first sight.  Can we, like the star-crossed lovers, gaze across a crowded room and instantly lock eyes with our soulmates?

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore . . .

Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy, cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is irrevocably changed.” 

- J.M. Darhower
From Sempre

Ah, the lightning!  The flame! The fireworks!  "Love at first sight" is an extremely romantic notion. It is also a very attractive concept.  Think of all the novels and films that have depicted that moment when a couple's eyes meet for the first time - but is that really love?  I don't profess to have all the answers, but I tend to believe that "love at first sight" is really an undeniable connection or an attraction.  It is certainly intense.  It can be more than a physical attraction and it can often develop into true love,. That. however, takes time and nurturing. "Love at first sight" may be the basis for romantic comedies and fairy tales. Real life, however, is quite different.

Sometimes we have a very negative impression of someone at first sight.  Sometimes there is immediate conflict between two persons.  Yet when the ice thaws, they fall in love.  Perhaps that is part of the concept of  the fine line between love and hate.

There is not always a lightning bolt.  Less often, love develops between two people who don't have any strong feelings for each other when they first meet.  Somehow, over time, a flame ignites and they begin to see each other in a different light.

Here are some other ruminations concerning "love at first sight."

People who meet in airports are seventy-two percent more likely to fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else.

- Jennifer E, Smith
From The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The only true love is love at first sight; second sight dispels it.

- Israel Zangwill (1864-1926), British humorist  and writer 

You see the first thing we love is a scene. For love at first sight requires the very sign of its suddenness; and of all things, it is the scene which seems to be seen best for the first time: a curtain parts and what had not yet ever been seen is devoured by the eyes: the scene consecrates the object I am going to love. The context is the constellation of elements, harmoniously arranged that encompass the experience of the amorous subject . . .

- Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French literary critic, philosopher
From A Lover's Discourse: Fragments

Barthes interest in photography is evident in this second quote on "love at first sight" from A Lover's Discourse: Fragments.

Love at first sight is always spoken in the past tense. The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory (the nature of a photograph is not to represent but to memorialize) . . . this scene has all the magnificence of an accident: I cannot get over having had this good fortune: to meet what matches my desire.

- Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French literary critic, philosopher
From A Lover's Discourse: Fragments 

In closing, I'll leave you with this thought.  I came across these words from an unknown source:

What's so remarkable about love at first sight?  It's when people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes remarkable.

Number 16 Reader's Poll

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Type your answers here
Yes, absolutely. I happens all the time.
No, it's a myth.
It may be possible.
Don't know
Poll Maker

- Joanne