Best actor? Best picture? Best dressed?
No one knows yet. This year’s Academy Awards — likely to dazzle, infuriate and inspire drinking games across America — won’t be handed out until Sunday.
But we have a sneak peek at one of the envelopes: Best Oscar Party.
And the winner is … You!
With just a little planning — and this script full of ideas — you can pull off your own star-studded affair. Our guide takes a page from this year’s feature-worthy flicks and indulges a little show-business-style glam. Here’s the trailer: a personalized Walk of Fame, film-themed snacks and swag bags. This is Hollywood, baby!
So don your best duds, pass out the ballots and hit the theater — er, your couch — for a celebration that’s sure to have your guests babbling like a first-time nominee.
ACT 1: DECK THE HALLS
Anything with the word “Oscars” attached to it needs a little flair. So start with the entryway. If you have a red (or sort of reddish) runner, roll it out, red carpet style.
Another option? Create your own Walk of Fame. Buy large metallic star cutouts from a party or craft store, then use a permanent marker to write a guest’s name on each. Use double-sided tape to affix each star to the floor.
Give your living room some zip by adding gold, black and white — balloons, paper lanterns or streamers. Finally, dig out any old movie posters you or any teenagers you know have collecting dust in a closet. Ta-da! You have a theater.
ACT 2: GET GUSSIED UP
For the Academy Awards, there’s a show before the show. It’s called the red carpet. Create your own by encouraging guests to dress to impress, and do so yourself. (Remember that sequins-laden slip dress you purchased after three mimosas while on a girls trip to Vegas? The one that’s never seen the light of day? This is its moment.)
Reserve a space for paparazzi photos along one wall, or create an outside-the-booth photo booth with props like boas and sunglasses and a director’s megaphone (Amazon delivers). Motivate your guests with a special prize (mini bottles of bubbly are always great) for Best Dressed Guest.
ACT 3: POP SOME CORKS
Darling, it’s really not a party until the Champagne is flowing like THAT DRESS Emma Stone wore last year. So stock up on the real thing — or some other kind of sparkling wine. You’ll be on brand. Bubbly, if you recall, was included with nearly every meal in “Darkest Hour.”
What else should you serve? Whiskey cocktails, of course (see our whiskey sour recipe), compliments of Lady Bird’s eager imbibing of the brown stuff. We suggest partygoers cap the bottle sooner than she did.
ACT 4: THEME THE SNACKS
Why not plan an entire menu based on noshes eaten in Best Picture nominee films? Consider mini mushroom quiches, as a nod to “Phantom Thread.”
If you can find fresh peaches, they’ll make a mean hors d’oeuvre along with some prosciutto and ricotta on crostini. Anyone who’s seen “Call Me by Your Name” will either laugh or head for the restroom.
Deviled eggs are the perfect ode to the hard-boiled variety in “The Shape of Water.” “The Post” offers a good excuse to whip up some roast beef sandwiches.
For dessert? Minneapolis’ World Street Kitchen has the ideal solution: a few pints of their Cereal Killers — an all-too-apt name for a frozen version of the creepy Froot Loops-and-milk scene we watched at the end of “Get Out.”
If you want to keep it simple, make a couple of batches of popcorn, then glam it up (see recipe) and serve it in movie theater-style boxes (available at Target and party stores).
ACT 5: HAND OUT BALLOTS
Find free printable Oscar ballots online (including on Oscars.com), and give one to each of your guests to fill out. No cheating: Once the ceremonies begin, it’s pencils down, kids.
ACT 6: AND THE WINNER IS …
Once the academy has spoken, it’s time to count your ballots. The guest who picked the most categories correctly wins an Oscar! Well, a faux statuette that you got from Amazon, that is.
Need a tiebreaker? Make the finalists give a speech and let everyone else choose who nailed it. Bonus points for actual tears.
ACT 7: SEND ’EM HOME HAPPY
No one in Hollywood goes home empty-handed. Make a lasting impression with sparkly gift bags. You don’t need to drop a lot of dough. Just look for anything star-shaped (sunglasses or tea lights) or glitzy. Get a set of mini lotions or lip glosses and divvy those up.
And if you’re one of those over-the-top hosts, make some cookies ahead of time with Oscar-shaped cookie cutters (Hello? We’re still talking about Amazon) and put them into individual baggies, tied with gold ribbon.
But let’s be clear: The real award goes to you, host of Best Oscar Party 2018. Just be sure to thank us from the podium.
©2018 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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