How To: Host an Oscar Party

Have you ever thrown an Oscar party? It's one of my favorite parties to throw because it is so much fun for all ages and a great way to enjoy the Academy Awards without being glued to your couch for every last acceptance speech. I like to have the broadcast on, with no or low volume, while my party is going on. You'll catch all the important parts, trust me. Here are some of my favorite tips for an award-winning party: 1. Roll out the red carpet. Get a roll of plain red wrapping paper or fabric and create a "red carpet" in your entry way as guests arrive. Outfit a few kids with cameras to serve as paparazzi. It's fun for them and a great way to capture the event, plus kids always take interesting photos. If you want to go all the way, ask your guests to dress up in their ritziest duds. 2. Make predictions early. As guests arrive, give them a paper and a pen to make their prediction of the night's winners. Collect the predictions and announce a winner (whoever had the most correct predictions) after the broadcast. Here are the major categories for you, but you can also download a comprehensive ballot here. Best Actor in a Leading Role Javier Bardem in "Biutiful" Jeff Bridges in "True Grit" Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network" Colin Firth in "The King's Speech" James Franco in "127 Hours" Best Actor in a Supporting Role Christian Bale in "The Fighter" John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone" Jeremy Renner in "The Town" Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right" Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech" Best Actress in a Leading Role Annette Benning in "The Kids Are All Right" Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole" Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone" Natalie Portman in "Black Swan" Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine" Best Actress in a Supporting Role Amy Adams in "The Fighter" Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech" Melissa Leo in "The Fighter" Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit" Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom" Best Director "Black Swan" Darren Aronofsky "The Fighter" David O. Russell "The King's Speech" Tom Hooper "The Social Network" David Fincher "True Grit" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen Best Animated Feature Film "How to Train Your Dragon" Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois "The Illusionist" Sylvain Chomet "Toy Story 3" Lee Unkrich Best Picture "Black Swan" "The Fighter" "Inception" "The Kids Are All Right" "The King's Speech" "127 Hours" "The Social Network" "Toy Story 3" "True Grit" "Winter's Bone" 3. Play Oscar charades. Test your guests' acting chops. Divide into teams and play charades using film titles for the clues. 4. Have your own awards ceremony. Spend some time thinking about your guests and come up with some silly awards to highlight their achievements (or under-achievements, as the case may be) over the last year. Did Nancy have an especially dramatic freak-out when she encountered a mouse on the summer camping trip? Well, that deserves an award for Best Freak Out. You get the idea. Make it official with a certificate or an inexpensive statue. Acceptance speeches are encouraged. 5. Make statue cookies. You can get a cookie cutter here and then follow Bakerella's genius, detailed instructions. (Unfortunately, due to licensing issues, you can't find the actual statue cookie cutter anymore, but the link I've provided is pretty close.) 6. Keep your decorations simple. Choose a simple color scheme (black and white) or a particular movie for your decorations. For example, last year I tied a giant bouquet of multicolored helium balloons above the buffet table for the movie "UP." It was a hit! Do you have any other ideas? Share them in the comments section. And don't forget---the Academy Awards are Sunday, February 27th on ABC!
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