Right about now, other hosts and hostesses are scrambling to assemble a Franken-buffet in tribute to the locations of this year’s Best Picture nominations: a gooey butter cake for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” next to a pot of escargots for “Dunkirk.” Or worse, they are masterminding terrible food puns like “Kale me by Your Game,” which I can only imagine must be either a robust salad with bits of rabbit meat, or else some sort of sturdy green and venison roulade. Let’s not even go there with “Get Out.”  A black and white cookie with a bullseye pattern? Some sort of horrifying Turducken? *Shudders*

Not you. Not this year. You are a singular host with a singular theme that allows you to demonstrate your panache across all of the details. And the Academy Award for Best Oscar Party Idea 2018 goes to: Classic Hollywood.

The Golden Age of Hollywood spanned from the late 1920s to the late 1950s so there are plenty of throwback elements to incorporate across the decades for a party so classy you just might need to prepare your own acceptance speech.

And the award for best costume design goes to…


Black and white. How easy is this? Even your least gung-ho friends would have to put in effort not to participate. If you’re feeling extra extra, and haven’t already gone all-out on a killer mardi gras party this month, give a shot to this grayscale makeup technique, and have supplies on hand for when your most gung-ho friends arrive and can’t resist the opportunity. Make anyone who doesn’t adhere to the theme wear a “filmed in Technicolor” name tag.

And the award for best visual effects goes to…

Copy Cat Films

Silent movie title cards. 1. Print out a slew of these well-designed, old-timey placards. 2. Have a silver paint pen on hand. 3. Watch how your friends go into selfie-overdrive in order to win the coveted “Best Picture” award, i.e. the photo with the most likes on Instagram.

And the award for best “animated feature” goes to…

Lia Griffith

Academy Award Bingo. Because what’s more animated that someone jumping up from their chair, screaming “Bingo!”, and proceeding to kiss everyone in the room Roberto Benigni-style because they finally completed a row when someone’s speech got cut off by the orchestra? There are many Oscar bingo cards to be found, but we love the glamorous design of this set, and the easy but elegant suggestion of using star stickers as markers.

And the award for best production design goes to…

Life-size Charlie Chaplin cutout. You hardly need to concern yourself with additional decorations when the most iconic figure from the silent film era is there to preside over the festivities. Which leaves you more time and budget for food and drinks.

And the award for best craft service goes to…

You with this retro appetizer spread. Okay, so this isn’t a real award, but let’s take a moment to honor all of the hard-working people who toil for 18-hour days alongside all of the camera crew, makeup artists, and production assistants by keeping them fed. Any party that’s not an actual sit-down dinner party should never have to bother with forks, so keep it simple but hearty with these 1950s (and earlier) inspired finger foods.

Layered Cheese Ball

Well, if you must, there’s your turducken element anyway. 

Shrimp Cocktail

Serve them up with a celery-salted rim in these individual shooter cups.

Ham and Pickle Pinwheels

American Table

They’re just one of those things that inspires nostalgia and even though our tastes have evolved beyond three-ingredient gimmicks, you can’t deny how tasty they are.

Crudite Platter

Olivia’s Cuisine

Always in style. Always a classic. Always necessary to combat the effects of a bombastic cheese ball.

Oysters Rockefeller


Since you are mostly rolling with simple, cold appetizers, use the commercial breaks to pass around warm batches of the most timeless of all finger foods.

Champagne and Strawberry Jello Molds

A Beautiful Day

You’ve been meaning to spring for a cake pedestal anyway, and these adorable individual throwback desserts kind of deserve one.

And the award for best thematic cocktail goes to…

What else? An Old-Fashioned. Requiring only three ingredients and golden in color, it literally puts a cherry on top of your most memorable soirée.

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