Thursday, February 3, 2011

Libby’s Ideas for the Perfect Oscar Party!

2011 Oscar Nominee Jeff Bridges with Libby Langdon
The Academy Awards act as the perfect excuse to get together with good friends in the dead of winter and have some fun. If you don’t enjoy movies think of it as watching a 3 hour long fashion show, you’re bound to have a blast looking at the beautiful clothes and also bashing the blunders.  Your celebration can be as easy or as elaborate as you’d like, these are some fun ideas that are meant to inspire no matter how much time you have.

The Envelope, Please: Invitations
         - Print Invitations on heavy gold Mylar cardstock, give them a double fold and seal them with a large gold sticker and write on the outside of the invite “And the winner is…”  
-   Go to your local movie theater and ask for “short ends” of film (little pieces they cut off when they load the reel onto the projector) or get some camera Picture film and write the party details on the film with a gold metallic pen, send in a padded mailer labeled, “And the award goes to…”

Best Original Screenplay: Party Themes
-        Host a “Red Carpet” Party – everything should be red; red flowers, red cocktails, red tablecloth & napkins; red candles, red invitations, even ask guests to wear something red!
-        Match your theme to a Best Picture nominated film: For a “True Grit” Party serve margaritas, fried chicken, biscuits, and good ol’ fare; for “The King’s Speech” Party serve pints of beer, pigs in a blanket & french fries; for “Black Swan” Cocktails serve caviar & champagne, cheese and crackers, and crudité;  for “The Social Network” Party serve pizza, vodka & blue Curacao martinis; and for “The Fighter” Party serve “Knock Out” rum punch, burgers and wings.
-        Throw a vintage Academy Award party, choose a favorite year of past Oscar nominees and invite guests to come dressed as one of them, tailor the food and drinks to reflect that time period
-        Have an Oscar Pajama Party – it’s about as casual as you can get, order in takeout food or serve comfort food and lots of champagne…this is probably what all the non-nominees will be doing!
-        Host a Black and white Oscar Party – have everyone dress in black and white, decorate in black and white, even dress as a star from the days of black and white films
-        Throw a Black Tie Oscar bash - Set out fresh flowers in all one color (all Red or all white), lots of candles and set out buckets of champagne (or the less expensive Prosecco) – this will instantly give you guests the feeling of an extravagant Hollywood party.

Best Production Design: Décor and Ambiance
-        Go to your local video store and ask for any old movie posters, (they usually throw them away) and hang them all over your house
-        Rent a TV projector (about $100 a day, but worth it!) that plugs into your cable box or VCR and project the Oscars on a blank wall; you can really make it feel like a theater by hanging some curtains on either side of the image.  Set out lots of candles so you don’t diffuse the image with lamp light.
-        Have great movie music playing the background for arrivals, take pictures of guests when the arrive with a flash to give the real feeling of paparazzi, you can even set out a long piece of red felt to act as a red carpet (just make sure you stake it into the ground on either side so the “stars” don’t trip)
-        Go to, they have printable ballots; give each guest a ballot to fill out when they arrive.  It’s fun to see which guest has the most correct award choices (if everyone can stay up that late)!
-        Make your bathroom look like a make-up trailer from a film set, set out make-up, small pictures attached to the mirror of movie stars, sunglasses, hats, a screenplay, a stool or chair and any other fun accessories you have…who knows what your guests will do with them!
-        Get a movie magazine or vintage film book and fill all your picture frames temporarily with photographs of Movie stars
-        Write the name of each acting nominee on a small metal rimmed tag and tie it with a ribbon (of course matching your theme) to wine glass stems, each guest will be a star for the evening
-        Write favorite movie quotes on cocktail napkins with gold metallic pens
-        Laminate small Newspaper ads for the current nominated  films, cut them into 4 x 4  squares and use them as coasters (you can also use magazine photographs of favorite film actors)
-        Make sure you have plenty of seating, or at least floor cushions and pillows
-        Let guests help themselves to the “concession stand”, set a table up with t Twizzlers, Milk Duds, Good & Plentys and Rasinets.

Catering/”Craft Service”: Fun Food & Cool Cocktails
-        Serve everything Buffet style; items that can easily be eaten away from a table, make dishes that can be prepared ahead of time so you’re not in the kitchen missing the entrances on the red carpet
-        Tailor cocktails to nominated films (“The Toy Story” Kids-Tini made with vodka, lemonade, and a splash of key lime juice; “The Kids Are All Right” Kitty Cocktail made with orange vodka, blood orange juice, and a splash of lemon seltzer; the “True Grit” Margarita made with tequila, lemonade, and guava nectar)
-        Create a food menu around a favorite movie, display  a printed menu on the buffet letting guests know what film inspired each dish –
                  a)“Doctor Zhivago” – Caviar, Bellini’s, Chicken Kiev, New potatoes with sour cream,  green beans almandine, champagne
             b)”Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” – Mint Juleps, Biscuits, oven fried chicken, cheesy mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and chocolate cake
             c) “ The Godfather” – Mozzarella and tomato salad, olive bruschetta,
Osso bucco, broccoli rabe, polenta – cheesecake, cannollis, Red Wine
                  d) “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” – Sake, Japanese beer, spicy summer rolls, Shrimp fried rice, Chili/ scallion Spareribs, sesame noodles and vanilla bean ice cream with fortune cookies
                  e) “Butiful” – Shrimp Quesadillas, black bean salsa/ guacamole/ chips, Chili rubbed pork tenderloin, corn and tomato salad, tortillas White wine Sangria and pomegranate margaritas

(Well you get the idea…I could go on forever with food ideas!)

Props: Goody Gift bags: It’s all about the “swag”
Treat your guests to the best part of any awards night…THE GIFTBAG! You can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like! Some of the items you can include are:
                   - Individual bags of microwave popcorn,
                   - A gift certificate at your local movie theater or video store
                  - A small packet of Kleenex
                  - Sunglasses
                  - Cocktail napkins
                  - split of champagne
                  - Small bag of homemade cookies in the shape of               stars
                  - sample sizes of perfume or lotions (available    free at dept stores)
                  - Small picture frame or mini photo album
                  - Homemade CD of favorite movie music
                  - Disposable camera (takes pictures at the party, develop them and give them to friends or host as thank you)
                  - Postcards of Los Angeles and Hollywood
                  - Boxes of movie theater candy– Milk Duds, Twizzlers, Good & Plenty’s