I made it! I watched all of the movies nominated for Best Picture! Some I was really impressed with and others….not so much. There were several that just didn’t feel like best picture caliber films. My three favorites were Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. Below I have listed a recap of all the nominees as well as the menu item I would make to celebrate them. What movies were you Really Into? What dish would you make to represent them?
Tips for a Perfect Oscar Party!
- If you can, have a red carpet! It is great fun to have your guests walk in and take pictures on it.
- Print out pictures of the Best Picture and Actor/Actress nominees and hang them around the party space.
- Dress Up! The Oscars are formal, so use it as an excuse to look your best!
- Theme your dishes! Whether you want to have a decadent, Oscar theme and serve lobster and caviar, or pick one of your favorite movies from this year or past winners and serve food based on that. I like to be over the top and make dishes for each of the nominated movies (suggestions below).
- I loooove a Signature Cocktail for the evening.
- Popcorn bars are a cheap, easy, impressive and delicious prop for a movie party. Once you do it you will want to have one every Saturday night!
- Don’t be afraid to be over the top and have fun!! The Oscars are your opportunity to get fancy and get into that Hollywood glamour.
Best Picture Nominees
UFO Tofu or Ship Shaped Sugar Cookies
I really enjoyed Arrival and it was a breath of fresh air for an “Alien Movie.” The movie surprised me because it was so different than what I expected. I came up with two dishes for this. You could go the easier route and make the Space Ship shaped sugar cookies (big ovals), or you could try something a little different, and since palindromes were so important in the movie, I thought UFO Tofu (any tofu dish, really) would be fun.
I thought Hell or High Water was great fun while also delving into our country’s economic problems. In the bank robbing, car chasing movie it can be difficult to know which side you are on. And it never hurts to look at Chris Pine for over an hour. Because the movie is set in Texas and the boys are looking to get some money, I thought Texas Caviar (black eyed pea salad) would represent it well.
Jazz Apple Tart
A bittersweet love story about two dreamers in Hollywood with lots of singing and dancing. Who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone? Emma Stone will most likely win Best Actress and the movie Best Picture, though I am not sure the movie deserves it (Emma Stone does). It was a really good movie, but I just don’t think it held up to some of the others. It reminds me that I am still upset about Boyhood losing to Birdman…….Anyhow, I think a Jazz Apple Tart will be a great dessert for your meal and represent the rebirth of jazz in the movie.
Hidden Figures was another fun, heartwarming movie that I enjoyed a lot. It was an important story to be told about the African American Women who helped get astronauts into space. It definitely wasn’t something I learned in school. You can toast the American Space Program with a Tang Cocktail (this recipe looked good).
The true story of a pacifist in the war who saves more than 75 people. I have to be honest, I am not a big war movie fan, and even less of a fan of Mel Gibson (who apparently Hollywood has forgive, but for some reason they are still mad at Katherine Heigl). This was the bloodiest, goriest movie about a pacifist that I have ever seen, and in fact I think some of the blood took away from the story. I thought a peaceful “Olive Branch” platter would be fitting.
Food memory can be a powerful thing, and in the case of the true story Lion, it can be life changing. An Indian boy gets lost, gets adopted by Australians, and later in his life goes back to find his mother and brother. It was emotional, heartbreaking and beautiful and a movie that almost all ages can watch. It is a powerful journey that is well acted. If you have seen the movie, you know why the Indian dessert Jalebi is a must for this film.
Homemade Biscuits and Plum Jelly
An August Wilson play that was brought to the big screen. This movie was so well acted, but it did feel a little long. Plays can at times have trouble translating to the movies because audiences have such high expectations for effects and scenery, but I though the Maxson’s back yard was the perfect set for the story. And I will quit watching the Oscars if Viola Davis does not win Best Supporting actress. Rose Maxson is constantly cooking in the movie, and one of my favorite moments is when she is making biscuits, and the plums are an homage to Troy’s brother Gabriel.
Lobster Roll or Baked Haddock
Another one of my favorites this season, Manchester By The Sea is a heartbreaking story, but one that has levity throughout. Watching this movie made me reflect on difficult times in my life and made me realize how humans have the ability to cope and survive through the most horrific experiences. I thought that the best dish for this movie would be to honor the location, as the title did, and to me that means either a lobster roll or baked haddock.
Cuban Rice and Beans
The last on the list, but certainly not the least. Moonlight is powerful and comes at a very opportune time. This movie sticks with you. I have found myself thinking about Chiron and his life as a gay black man from Liberty City in Miami. There is no doubt that people are marginalized and this film is a nuanced look into the lives and the struggles of people in this country that we don’t normally see. This world is not black and white, there is so much gray area and it is important to take each person as a sum of all their parts. This was my favorite movie and my pick for best picture. I chose the Cuban Rice and Black beans as that is part of the meal that Kevin cooks Chiron.
I wish I had time to watch everything nominated, but there is too much! Find the complete list of nominees here.