Photo Courtesy Kelsey Chance/Unsplash
If you’ve been reading the news at all, you’ve probably seen some controversy regarding the 91st Academy Awards this weekend, airing Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. The Academy announced last week that a few categories would be aired during commercial breaks in an effort to keep the show capped at three hours and combat falling viewing rates that the Oscars have experienced in years past. (This has understandably sparked outlash from many actors and directors, who believe kicking categories off the priority list undervalues the roles of film editing, live action short, cinematography, and makeup and hairstyling.) This year is also notably different because of its host-less nature, after Kevin Hart stepped down from the role amid tweet-fueled controversy and the Academy struggled to find a replacement—which is less than shocking, considering the mega-spotlight the host endures every year, opening them up to intense criticism across all media outlets and social media platforms.
All controversy aside, the Oscars are really just a reason to get together with friends, watch the live performances, clap when your favorite actor wins, and judge the crap out of the designers, suits, and dresses of Hollywood’s most prestigious acts as they walk down the red carpet. (I know I’m not the only one.)
So, without further ado, here are five ways you can celebrate film’s biggest event of the year.â€‹
1. Attend a viewing party in the Twin Cities.
Don your best dress or suit and head out for a fancy evening event. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Oscar Experience is not happening this year (I know—sad) but Golden Pearl Vintage in north Minneapolis is throwing a get-together starting at 7 p.m. Prepare yourself for stellar dresses, champagne, and good conversation about who’s wearing what on the red carpet. TeamWomen is partnering with Twin Cities Film Fest to offer a viewing party, too, at ShowPlace Icon Theaters in Minneapolis, complete with a red carpet, full-service bar, onsite photographers, and more. The party starts at 6 p.m., with the Oscar viewing taking place at 7 p.m.
2. Pre-party idea: Actually watch a couple of the movies that are up for awards this year.
In my experience with the Oscars, I’ve very rarely known many of the films up for nomination. And during the awards ceremony, my friends and I are notorious for saying, “Oh, we have to watch that!” and creating a list on our phones for our next movie night. The problem? We don’t actually ever watch them. So this year, switch it around and take Saturday night to watch one that sparks your interest. Roma is readily available on Netflix. If you want, you can also purchase The Favourite on Amazon, or, on Netflix, you can enjoy Incredibles 2 (nominated for best animated feature) or re-watch Black Panther (up for seven awards!) as well. This all pairs very well with some popcorn (if you’re feeling productive, try one of these five easy popcorn treats), wine, and maybe even a pizza.
3. Make some fun appetizers or drinks for your guests.
Sometimes, throwing your own party is more fun than going to a party, and the food is definitely one of the big reasons why. Hosting = creative control! You can make it as fancy or as casual as you like. Stick to some tried-and-true favorites like pinwheels, artichoke dip, bruschetta, or deviled eggs along with some staples like a cheese platter and a tray of vegetables. If you’re hoping to impress, you can spice things up a bit with a cauliflower and thyme dip or turkey meatballs with sage and apple or keep your friends warm with one of these winter soups. Creative cocktails are always a must at parties (alongside a few good wines), so try one or two of these Oscar-themed drinks, too.
4. Play an Oscar-themed game.
Half the fun of the Oscars is the commentary, social media reactions, and drama that unfolds on live TV (flashback to when Warren Beatty announced the wrong winner for best picture due to an envelope mix up…oops). These printable bingo cards are a good choice, with everything from commercial predictions to potential mistakes that could be made on stage. Your friends can give their best go at a Mad Libs Oscar acceptance speech. They may also be interested in knowing the crazy monetary facts behind the Oscars, thanks to an infographic published by WalletHub. For example, did you know that each of those gold-plated Oscar statuettes costs $400?
5. Keep it simple—it’s a Sunday night, after all.
Yes, parties are nice. So are fancy dresses and homemade appetizers. But you can also just order take-out (Blue Door is my personal favorite, if you live in St. Paul or Minneapolis, but Dominos is also a fantastic option), drink your wine, and chill on the couch with some of your favorite people. It is a Sunday night, people—there’s a full week of work to be had.