MY FAVORITE SLICE: Oscars with Rachel Cushing!

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Every week on My Favorite Slice, a Movie Trivia Schmoedown competitor shares their favorite category on the wheel! This week’s guest is Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing from The Shirewolves, the current Schmoedown Team Champions, and one of the most accurate players in the history of the league.

Round Two…
The Wheel Round…
Duhn, duhn, duhn…

Almost all of us competitors have come to dread Round Two of the Schmoedown because, if we’ve learned nothing else, we know the Wheel is a fickle beast. Even when we think we’re in a good place with the Wheel, it can turn on us in a blink… and its wrath is terrifying (I shudder at the thought of Bond Movies)!

So how do we navigate this tempestuous monster? Well, as many of you know, every competitor or team gets at least some say in which slices appear in any given match. We always get one strength (usually lined up next to Opponents Choice, if you haven’t noticed), sometimes two. So, the question is: what slice to choose? Most competitors have two, three, even four slices they hope to land on during Round Two, but I think it’s safe to say there is that one special category for each of us. And the Movie Trivia Schmoedown website is excited to present a series of articles, from the competitors themselves, that explore our love for these particular wheel slices.

To kick us off, the wheel slice I have chosen to write about is one I will never pass up should I land on it (and will always choose, when possible, if I hit Spinner’s Choice… which I’ve yet to do despite playing in twenty league matches! Come on, Wheel!).

Oscar Movies (*If the Lord of the Rings slice appeared on the wheel during singles or teams play, I’d probably write about that, but since it’s relegated to Innergeekdom, I decided to go with Oscar Movies instead.)

Yes, I adore Meryl Streep, Spielberg films, and pretty much all Sci-fi/Fantasy movies, but landing on the Oscar Movies slice in my very first match (The Nerd’s Watch vs Tuff Beats) was a fortuitous moment for me because I have been watching The Oscars since I was old enough to walk.

Bottom line: the Oscars, or Academy Awards, celebrate film. Do the awards always go to who I think deserved them? No. But that doesn’t stop me from loving the fact that there is an organization, comprised of filmmakers, that once a year honors the hard work put into this art form. And while I adore the glitz and glam of the event itself, at the end of the day, it’s about the films.

Anyone who follows me on social media knows that I often say that Oscar Season is my favorite season of the year and it’s true. During the fall and winter of every year I go to the movies as many as three times a week. I devour the epic period pieces, stirring biopics, indie darlings, and socially conscious movies with an eye toward guessing who will move Academy voters come the end of the year. My friends and I enjoy endless debates about our favorite performances and which films will stand the test of time. Will the award go to a career actor/actress or filmmaker? Or will an ingénue take it this year? How many nominations does Ms. Streep have now? Will the editors ever get the recognition they truly deserve (only me? Ok)?

Plenty argue that the Oscars aren’t as inclusive as they should be and that many awards-worthy films have been ignored over the years, and I agree. But I do think that is slowly changing and I also do not wish to take away from the films that were nominated throughout the awards show’s history. I’ve seen a lot of them and they are all worthy in some way, shape, or form.

Which brings me to the Schmoedown: I’ve seen A LOT of movies that either won or were nominated for Oscars. Plus, I love watching the ceremony every year, so I have a decent handle on repeat nominees and some of the lesser remembered categories (ahem, editing). So, it’s a no brainer for me to choose the Oscar Movies slice whenever I can, even though I’ve certainly missed questions in the category (John Rocha has missed questions in Westerns, Clarke Wolfe in Horror, and Ben Bateman in Movie Release Dates, but that won’t ever stop any of us from going for it with these categories because the alternative [spin again?] could be A LOT worse).

Questions in the Oscars category are likely to be about the kind of thoughtful, interesting, epic and moving films I gravitate towards. These memorable movies often stick in my brain, as do the moments when they were recognized by the Academy, so that is why the Oscars Movies slice is my favorite category on the wheel. (Make no mistake, though, I WILL spin an actress I love one of these days. Meryl, Kate, Cate, Natalie… I’m coming for you!)

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