For those too young to recall the events chronicled in "I, Tonya," which is nominated for three Academy Awards this year, raise your hand if you saw the movie and thought, "No way is this based on a true story!"
There have been several sports movies good enough for Oscar consideration over the years -- some based on true stories and others pure fiction. So... here's a quiz to see if you know the difference.
We’ll provide a brief description of 10 sports movies that have been honored at the Academy Awards -- five that are based on true stories and five that are total fiction. Can you guess which is which?
First, a few movies that we will not include here:
Rocky: Sylvester Stallone had always maintained that Rocky’s story was fiction – until recently admitting that it was “loosely based” on the career of real-life New Jersey boxer Chuck Wepner.
Heaven Can Wait: Los Angeles Rams QB Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty) is killed in a car accident, but when his guardian angel realizes that Pendleton was taken too soon, he returns to Earth in a different body. (This story is almost as unbelievable as a backup quarterback leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first NFL title in 78 years.)
Field of Dreams: If the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and other long-dead Hall of Fame baseball players coming back to life in an Iowa cornfield isn’t true, why do so many fans visit that field every summer?
So, yeah, it’s too easy to guess that stories involving reincarnation and ghosts are not based on true stories. Let’s see how you fare with these:
1) Million Dollar Baby: The 2004 Best Picture also earned Hilary Swank the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a tough female amateur boxer being mentored by grizzled trainer Clint Eastwood.
2) Chariots of Fire: The 1981 Best Picture honoree tells the story of two runners competing in the 1924 Olympics. As the movie poster says, “This is the story of two men who run … not to run … but to prove something to the world.”
3) Raging Bull: Martin Scorsese’s 1980 masterpiece about the turbulent life of a retired boxing champion. Many people think it was a crime that “Raging Bull” lost out to “Kramer vs. Kramer” for Best Picture, but the movie did earn a Best Actor Oscar for Robert DeNiro.
4) The Hustler: The story of young pool star “Fast” Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) taking on the champ, Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason), was nominated for Best Picture in 1961 – and it’s also credited with sparking a resurgence in the sport.
5) Jerry Maguire: Tom Cruise was nominated for Best Actor, playing the super-agent. Cuba Gooding Jr., who won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Cardinals receiver Rod Tidwell, had one of the best Oscaracceptance speeches of all-time.
6) The Blind Side: Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for this 2009 film about the white family in Tennessee that takes in an African-American high school football star from a broken home.
7) Hoosiers: In this 1986 classic, Gene Hackman plays coach Norman Dale, who leads a tiny Indiana high school to the state basketball championship in 1954.
8) Breaking Away: In this 1979 Best Picture nominee, a group of blue-collar teens from Bloomington, Indiana, enter the Little 500 bicycle race.
9) The Wrestler: Mickey Rourke was nominated for Best Actor for this 2008 portrayal of a down-and-out former professional wrestler battling health issues and internal demons.
10) The Hurricane: Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor in 1999, playing Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a middleweight contender who is wrongly convicted of murder.
How’d you do? Like “I, Tonya,” here are the five movies that were based on a true story: 2, 3, 6, 7, 10Some