Oscar StatueOn February 24, 2013 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rolls out the red carpet for the 85th Oscar Awards. It’s a black tie evening overflowing with celebs, bling, and elegant parties. This year’s best picture nominations cover themes from war to romance; adventure to relationships. If you’re planning an Oscar party, we have some star-studded party tips to add to the fun.

Like other big “viewing parties,” the Oscars are about gathering friends around a big screen TV and watching the show. Whether you’re throwing a black tie event or creating a jeans and jewels studded evening, the keys to a successful Oscar party include: activities that make guests feel like they’re part of the show, décor that’s red carpet worthy, and a menu that’s easy to share and enjoy whether you’re sitting on the couch or standing around the counter.

Our tips for an award worthy Oscar party include:

Activities that make everyone feel like a super star from the moment they arrive.

  1. When guests arrive, take their “red carpet photo.“ After the party post your photos in an Oscar Party album on Facebook for friends to see and share.
  2. Give guests a chance to vote for the big winners. Print out these voting forms from Oscar.org so everyone can cast their vote for best picture, best director, leading actress, and other favorite categories. Make sure the winners get their own award. You can cut out an image of Oscar printed on gold paper and mount it on cardboard for fun, or come up with silly prizes that are fun and funky.
  3. Include an Oscar Trivia Contest during commercial breaks or play Academy Award Bingo with this Party Kit Bingo Card.
  4. Everyone will feel like a celeb when they take home a Swag bag. You can find stylish and inexpensive party bags and stuffers at your local drug store. You can even include some homemade or store bought candies.

red-carpetDécor that’s Red Carpet worthy.

  1. Decorate with gold stars and glitter – of course! Create a red carpet entrance using remnant fabric from your local fabric store, or simply use a red table runner.
  2. Create your own version of “The Hollywood Walk of Fame” by printing out photos of the nominated stars and titles of nominated films. Then mount them in the middle of gold star cut outs. You can place them on the wall, floor, or serving tables. You can even mount your friends’ photos in stars for a personal touch.
  3. If you have time and budget for statue replicas, red night rope, red curtain back drops and more, visit Oriental Trading or Shindigz.
  4. Pull out your champagne glasses, or purchase plastic flutes. Provide sturdy paper plates with black, gold or red borders.
  5. Check your New Year’s Eve party left overs to see if you have any glittery baubles.
  6. Decorate with balloons and paper streamers in black, white, and gold.
  7. If you’re short on time or budget, just focus on decorating your serving table. Pick up some gold glitter and stars and sprinkle them on a white tablecloth.
  8. Tune into Pandora’s “Film Scores” station to add theatrical music to rooms without a television set.

Serve up an elegant menu that’s easy to serve and enjoy.

  1. A buffet of finger food and small bites is ideal. Guests like to nibble throughout the evening.
  2. If there’s limited seating capacity, you definitely want to serve food that doesn’t require utensils or a seated table.
  3. Get the party started with Champagne Cocktails. Then serve elegant hors d’oeuvres for an Oscar Party to remember.
  4. Lighten your cooking and shopping load by assigning guests something to bring from TheBrownLounge.com’s Oscar Party Menu below.

Kir Royale with bubblyChampagne Cocktail



Steak & Potato Bites with Gorgonzola CreamSteak and Baked Potato Bites



Bacon Wrapped DatesBacon Wrapped Dates



Salmon slidersSalmon Sliders



Feta Cheese PopsFeta Cheese Puffs



Fresh Oysters on the half shellOysters on the Half Shell



Asparagus in Puffed PastryAsparagus and Prosciutto in Puffed Pastry



Cheese Puffs - GougeresCheese Puffs Stuffed with Prosciutto



Almond Chocolate ToffeeAlmond Toffee



creme brulee with berriesCrème Brulee



Here’s a quick overview of Oscar Nominees from Oscars.org

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhané Wallis, Naomi Watts

Best Director: Amour (Michael Haneke), Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin), Life of Pi (Ang Lee), Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell), Lincoln (Steven Spielberg)

Best Picture nominees include themes of love, war, and adventure:

Amour – French inspired Cougeres In the final months of her life, a retired music teacher and her husband of sixty years struggle with the debilitating effects of two strokes on both her health and her quality of life. As Georges cares for the increasingly unhappy Anne, the pair finds the nature of their life together irrevocably changed.

Argo – When six Americans take refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis, U.S. government agent Tony Mendez turns to Hollywood for help. Working with a producer and a makeup artist, he devises a rescue mission that centers on the creation of a fake film production company scouting locations in Iran.

Beasts of the Southern Wild – In an isolated Louisiana swampland known as the Bathtub, young Hushpuppy and her father are part of a community that lives outside of the structure of modern society. When rising flood waters threaten the area, the young girl’s resourcefulness and lively imagination are called into play as the region’s residents face the approaching disaster.

Django Unchained – German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz buys a slave named Django and promises him his freedom once he has helped Schultz track down the criminals he is seeking. But Django has a wife who was sold off years ago, and his partnership with Schultz may offer him a chance to find her.

Les Misérables – In early 19th century France, Jean Valjean, a man imprisoned years earlier for stealing a loaf of bread, decides to break his parole following his release and assume a new identity. Although he succeeds in building a new life for himself, the relentless pursuit of Inspector Javert threatens the security of Valjean and his adopted daughter, Cosette.

Life of Pi: Young Pi, the son of zookeepers in Pondicherry, India, finds the world he knows swept away when his family sells the zoo and sets sail for Canada with a few of its remaining animals. A storm capsizes the ship and only Pi escapes, set adrift in a lifeboat that is also the refuge of an enormous Bengal tiger.

Lincoln – With the Civil War coming to a close and the freedom granted to the slaves by the Emancipation Proclamation called into question, Abraham Lincoln seeks to pass a thirteenth amendment to the Constitution that will outlaw slavery everywhere in the United States. Facing opposition from many quarters in Congress, Lincoln uses his vast political powers to gain allies in his fight.

Silver Linings Playbook – Pat Solatano is released into his parents’ care after eight months of treatment for a bipolar disorder. His recovery seems far from certain, however, when he stops taking his medication and becomes increasingly obsessed with winning back his estranged wife, a plan that leads him to embark on a complicated relationship with a troubled young woman whose husband has died.

Zero Dark Thirty – In the aftermath of 9/11, as the trail in the hunt for Osama bin Laden seems to grow cold, a determined CIA agent begins a painstaking, decade-long search for the Al Qaeda leader. For Maya, direct experience of terrorism steels her resolve to find bin Laden and leads her to trust her own instincts regarding the best course of investigation to pursue.