Thinking of hosting a last-minute Oscar party for this Sunday’s 2015 Academy Awards? Of course you should! Don’t let whatever bad memories you have of past attempts deter you from believing that watching celebrities receive gold trophies for make-believing is a bad excuse for a get-together. With the very talented Neil Patrick Harris who’s not afraid to get controversial taking over hosting duties from notoriously safe Ellen DeGeneres, the 2015 Oscars are going to be 50 shades of of cray. Given that Harris, a seasoned Tony Awards host, has opened the Broadway awards with numbers like “It’s Not Just For The Gays Anymore,” you KNOW he’s going to tackle the controversial all-white (and mostly straight white male, we might add) 2015 Oscar nominees list.
It’s gonna be a hell of a good time, but just in case the 2015 Academy Awards turn out to be just another yawn-fest with an impossibly pretty audience, here’s how to throw an awesome Oscar party that’s the talk of whatever town you happen to live in. Somebody has to throw the Vanity Fair party of the common folk. Why not you?
Start With A Killer Guest List
If we’ve learned anything from Hollywood it’s that there are a million blondes in the industry but only one Jennifer Lawrence. Forget about the decorations (keep it black, gold and simple) and focus on making a guest list full of colourful characters who will liven up your party with witty banter. Did you invite Shirley from accounting? Bad idea, unless she’s got a wild side that you’ve thoroughly investigated on Facebook prior to using your Oscar party as an ice-breaker to make friends outside of work. Invite the kind of people who “get” that the only reason stars wear Marchesa on the red carpet is because designer Georgina Chapman is married to Harvey Weinstein — that’s the fashion equivalent to the casting couch if ever there was one.
Set A Creative Dress Code
Look, the truth is, even if all your friends agree to ‘black tie’, you’ll feel so very and unfairly civilian in your ready-to-wear attire in comparison to the custom-made gowns and suits that grace the screen, especially if you’ve got a handful of Cheetos in your hand and not a designer clutch. Opt for a fun theme instead. Tell your friends to come donning the most shameful attire – a Pretty Woman hooker dress from their clubbing days, for instance, or ass-less chaps — for a “Worst Dressed List” theme party. Just like many a Hollywood star, we’ve all got things in our closet that we keep on the down-low. Highlight how shameful the controversial list of notably almost all-white 2015 Oscars nominees is by having a white-tie dress code.
Follow This Potluck Mantra: “There’s An App For That”
Yeah, you could get all Martha Stewart and plan a menu of hors d’oeurves inspired by a Wolfgang Puck-catered Vanity Fair Oscar party, but given that you’re reading this article right now, I doubt you’ve already special ordered the fresh Nova Scotia lobster you plan on using for your lobster rolls, right? Don’t fret. Nobody wants to sit down to a meal on Oscar night. The Academy Awards is really just the Super Bowl for the Us Weekly set. Just tell your friends you’re hosting an appetizer/finger food potluck inspired by great Hollywood movies. If you’ve got time, why not whip up a batch of Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolat from The Grand Budapest Hotel just to be super timely. Otherwise, let the creativity of you and your guests run wild. You’ll likely have a table filled with dishes dedicated to cinematic gems like Rataouille, Fried Green Tomatoes, Mystic Pizza, and 2015’s biggest Oscar snub, Cake starring Jennifer “Forever Rachel” Aniston. Perhaps some of your more awesome friends will pick up two boxes of Tim Hortons donuts in honour of Cheaper By The Dozen and Cheaper By The Dozen 2, and bless the heart of whatever person brings a whole chicken as tribute to Girl, Interrupted. The indigestion will be worth the fun surprise of who brings what.
Stock Your Bar
Let’s just say that, if I was at a Hollywood party, I’d be sitting at the table with Robert Downey, Jr. and Russell Brand sipping Perrier, if you know what I mean. That said, most Oscar nominees like to get shit-faced as soon as they realize they lost or won in their category (starving yourself for the weeks leading up to the red carpet will do that to ya). The eventual Vanity Fair after-party is the St. Patrick’s Day of the Hollywood elite. Based on the number of pale complexions on the list of 2015 Oscar nominees, it’s also fair to assume that many of the celebs partying tonight will coincidentally also be Irish.
As fun as it sounds to make drinks inspired by the nominated films and their stars, nobody wants to watch you awkwardly use the martini shaker you got for Christmas to make the “Julianne Moore-tini” because that sounds awful and doesn’t even make sense. (Forget that it’s also incredibly time-consuming to make.) Truth be told, champagne, scotch, vodka, gin, and white wine are A-lister drinks of choice anyway due to their potency, low carb count, and limited stain potential. Make sure your bar is stocked with them and load up on prosecco in lieu of champagne because, if you’re watching the Academy Awards on TV and not in spitball-hitting distance from Benedict Cumberbatch, chances are Veuve Clicquot isn’t in your budget.
Play Creative Drinking Games
Sure, it’s fun to get your guests to print out a 2015 Oscar ballot from the official Academy Awards website and throw $5.00 into an Oscar pool pot, but everyone feels like a winner when you encourage them to play amazingly fun drinking games (have enough club soda on hand for the non-drinkers and designated drivers to join in without the intoxicating results). For instance, every time someone thanks Harvey Weinstein, everybody drinks! Wanna get crazy? Drink every time host Neil Patrick Harris references Fifty Shades of Grey or makes an uncomfortable jab at how very Caucasian the audience looks — double-down if he hits both hot Hollywood topics in the same one liner. Drink every time someone says “Meryl” and she grants them a wonderfully smug smile in return. She gets more shout-outs than Jesus at the Academy Awards… “Jesus” is more of a Country Music Awards drinking game anyway.
Liven Up The Technical Awards With “F#@k, Marry, Kill”
Yeah, yeah… we all know it’s not nice to play “F#@k, Marry, Kill,” but that’s what makes it oh-so right. Since you’ve encouraged all your guests to fill out ballots for their Oscar predictions, get them to also to mark off who they’d f#@k, marry and kill in the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories. Sure, there are obviously more than three nominees in each category, but that’s what makes this game so heartless and entertaining when it comes to selecting who gets killed. If you don’t know how to play then you obviously don’t go on very exciting road-trips. But have no fear: Buzzfeed breaks down the general idea of how the game goes in Celebrity F#@k, Marry, Kill. Get everyone to read out their answers during the snooze-fest that is the technical awards retrospective or, better still, during the predictably long-winded speech of the winner for Best Sound Editing. Take the 2015 Best Actress nominees, for example: Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, and Reese Witherspoon. Obviously, for f*ck Marion, marry Julianne, and kill Reese. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn way too much about the stars in your own life — your friends.
If you’re throwing an Oscar party, let us know in the comments below your hosting strategies or tweet them to us @ViewTheVibe.