Party Girl: Throw an Award-Winning Oscars Party

With the Academy Awards less than two weeks away, it's time to get serious about your Oscars theme party! I'd like to thank the Academy for expanding the Best Picture field from 5 to 10 nominees this year, as it provides the perfect vehicle for a truly fun-filled Oscars party.

Using the Best Picture category as your inspiration, put on a star-studded potluck soiree sure to be the hit of this year's awards circuit. Oscars night (Sunday March 7) is certainly a time to dress to impress, so make it a dress-devour-drink party: randomly assign each guest (9 friends + you is a perfect number, but feel free to double up) a Best Pic nominee, and encourage creative interpretations in costume, food, and cocktails!

Just make sure your "Avatar" guest brings a folding chair if they plan to slather on the blue body paint.

A few ideas to get your guests in gear:

Dress: Go with a lab coat unless you're willing to stand up all night to avoid smearing blue makeup on the upholstery (oh, and to avoid wearing a loincloth).
Devour: Since the blue-skinned Navi are rarely seen eating anything appetizing (to humans, anyway), why not pay homage to the movie's Big Mac value meal instead? Top cheeseburger sliders with sliced pickles, finely chopped onion, shredded lettuce, and a dollop of thousand-island dressing. Okay, so it's a bit of a stretch, theme-wise, but who wouldn't like a Mini Mac?
Drink: Keep the blue limited to your drinks: 10 blue-hued cocktails.

"The Blind Side"
Dress: Dig out a sweater set, and top with an over-bleached blonde wig.
Devour: Anything Southern should work, but it's hard to go wrong with ham biscuits (Paula Deen's, y'all!)
Drink: Sweet Tea Vodka. Mix 1 ounce with 4 ounces lemonade for a porch-sittin' good time.

"District 9"
Dress: Strap on a party hat to top off a rumpled shirt and tie, with an overstuffed bandage wrapped around one hand.
Devour: What else? Prawns (though hopefully, these won't fight back).
Drink: Perennial South African favorite, brandy & Coke.

"An Education"
Dress: Do classic Audrey Hepburn with a little black dress, pearls, and an updo. Or a slim-cut suit and skinny tie for the gents.
Devour: Bake up an elegant, French-inspired, 17th-birthday chocolate cake.
Drink: Champagne!

"The Hurt Locker"
Dress: Camouflage -- unless you're hard-core enough to rig up a bombsuit.
Devour: Middle-Eastern fare, like this selection of tasty-sounding (if not authentically Iraqi) mezze.
Drink: Icy cold beer -- what could possibly sound better to someone zipped into a padded suit/helmet combo out in the desert?

"Inglourious Basterds"
Dress: So many choices! 40's glam, military-inspired, dairy farmer chic...
Devour: Honor Shoshanna's beloved movie theater with a big tub of buttery popcorn.
Drink: Cool and creamy White Russians, in memory of heroic dairy farmer Pierre LaPadite.

"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Dress: Borrow the sassy polka-dotted coat from Precious' dream sequence.
Devour: Fried chicken, the comfort food at the heart of a controversial scene that some reviewers decried as racist.
Drink: "Ugly Juice" -- not a part of the movie, but what the always vain Mariah Carey jokingly claims she drank to prepare for her dowdy (and surprisingly well-reviewed) turn as a social worker. Perhaps this prune juice-infused Ugly Bug would do the trick?

"A Serious Man"
Dress: Take the 1960's glamour of "An Education" and turn it upside down to achieve the 1960's midwestern frump of "A Serious Man." Throw in a dash of professorial nerdiness for good measure.
Devour: A steaming pot of soup might be more relevant, but your guests will have an easier time noshing on crispy potato latkes.
Drink: Manischewitz may be the obvious choice, but really, any alcohol will do! He may have the patience of Job, but poor Larry Gopnik could definitely use a drink.

Dress: Top a white shirt and khaki shorts with a merit badge-laden sash, then complete the look with an overstuffed knapsack.
Devour: Anything with chocolate -- the better to attract a Kevin bird!
Drink: Grape Soda (an alcoholic version, natch).

"Up in the Air"
Dress: A dark suit (for men or women), preferably in a travel-friendly wrinkle resistant fabric.
Devour: Peanuts are too easy, so how about party mix served up in individually portioned baggies? Display them in a shallow wicker basket, and hand out each one with a cocktail napkin and a smile.
Drink: Bring a selection of airplane-sized miniature wine bottles.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the show (hosted by the doubly-funny Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin) and good luck with your Oscar Pool.
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