The 28 Rules of the Oscars Party
February 27, 2014 9:20 AM   Subscribe

10. If you are throwing an Oscars party, you need to decide if it's going to be a cinema lover's party or an Oscars party. "At a cinema lover's party, people dress up and have thoughtful conversations about the nominees and the year in cinema. At an Oscars party, everyone sits in their sweatpants and trashes every single thing that happens for four hours." This was written by a WSJ sportswriter, who doesn't understand that you can do both at either type of party.
posted by Bella Donna (60 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oscar parties have the bizarre and, frankly disgusting, power to turn everyone in the room into Joan and Melissa Rivers for 4 hours.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:22 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


29. Don't invite Leonardo DiCaprio to your party. Just... don't. He swears every year he'll be fine and respond with quiet dignity and grace but then there's the Best Actor announcement and then there's the running and the screaming.
posted by delfin at 9:25 AM on February 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


People actually throw Oscar parties? I always thought that was an urban legend or something.

I also would like to reiterate my belief awards shows have proliferated to such a degree that there eventually be an Awards Show Awards, probably held in a Budget Inn Conference Roome in College Point. And Joan Rivers will be outside.
posted by jonmc at 9:26 AM on February 27, 2014


1. You might want to double-check this, but I believe these Oscars—televised live from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y.—are the first Oscars held outdoors at a cold-weather stadium. How will the weather impact the favorites? Will it snow in the second half? Tune in.

Okay, I'm so lost. This is a joke, but...the delivery is completely impenetrable to me? Am I missing something? Like is this just a "Hurr hurr it's like we're talking about Football" joke?
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:26 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Superbowl this year was held outdoors in a cold-weather stadium and the media talked incessantly about whether the weather (heh) would impact the game.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:27 AM on February 27, 2014


Yeah, I'm clearly not the target audience for this article. Now feeling somewhat embarrassed and kind of old, I will close the tab.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:29 AM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


The only "Oscar party" I ever attended was when my friends and I hung out in our dorm lounge and rooted for Return of the King to win Best Picture.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:31 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


The absolute main thing you need to be sure of if you host an Oscars Party is whether or not your guests actually want to watch the Oscars. If you invite enough people who are all good friends the ones who aren't all that into the Oscars per se will tend to chat away regardless of what's going on onscreen--which spoils it for the ones who actually do care. Also, as hosts, you'll miss most of what goes on tending to your guests: so if you actually want to watch the ceremony, make sure you tape it (and then you can rewatch it sans commercials, which is all to the good).

Seriously, though, if you invite friends over to "watch the Oscars" be very clear with them about whether or not "watching the Oscars" is really the object of the event.
posted by yoink at 9:33 AM on February 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am going to have strong opinions about Oscar parties and which type is the best despite never have been to one of either kind. Because that is the Oscar spirit.
posted by srboisvert at 9:33 AM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I only sort of knew the Wall Street Journal did humor. I watch the Oscars with my friends most years because it's a good excuse to get together and we all need one this time of year and then only one person can crank their heat up which is always a plus. Also I disagree about the chili.
posted by jessamyn at 9:34 AM on February 27, 2014


I also would like to reiterate my belief awards shows have proliferated to such a degree that there eventually be an Awards Show Awards…

They are called the AWIS, it's an award organized by NAAWASH "The National Academy of Award Shows", usually held every November 10th at a San Diego Ramada Inn.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:36 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I only sort of knew the Wall Street Journal did humor.

That's fine because the Wall Street Journal only sort of does humor.

I also would like to reiterate my belief awards shows have proliferated to such a degree that there eventually be an Awards Show Awards…

There is an Emmy category for Best Awards Show, if I remember right.
posted by kmz at 9:38 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Twitter usually pulls out its A game for events like this. Why yes, glad you asked! I'll be drinking by myself and refreshing my twitter feed.
posted by naju at 9:40 AM on February 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


My oscar party this year will involve a lot of both petty bitching and genuine critique, some minor betting, and me trying to subtly bring every conversation back around to the only nominated movie I've seen this year (Ameican Hustle.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:40 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's fine because the Wall Street Journal only sort of does humor.

Although I'm not sure I'd be all that surprised if the Wall Street Editorial column wasn't revealed to have been the work of writers from The Onion for the last several decades.
posted by yoink at 9:42 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: drinking by myself and refreshing
posted by planetesimal at 9:47 AM on February 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'd love to hold an Oscars party for me, my partner, and a bottle of gin if there was an easy way to stream it online. I'd even watch the ads! There is not, of course.

I tried the watch-a-live-camrip-from-an-RU-domain-in-ultra-low-def route last year, but it detracts from the glitz of the event.
posted by gilrain at 9:47 AM on February 27, 2014


People actually throw Oscar parties? I always thought that was an urban legend or something.

You're thinking of the parties where men in their underwear play poker, smoke cigars, and eat bad meat. Those are just legends.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2014


If you're going to watch the Oscars you should definitely invite some friends over, because I can't imagine watching them sober and drinking alone is unhealthy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2014


You're thinking of the parties where men in their underwear play poker, smoke cigars, and eat bad meat. Those are just legends.

It's true. The meat is excellent.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:49 AM on February 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


There is an Emmy category for Best Awards Show, if I remember right.

Outstanding Special Class Program generally includes but is not limited to award shows (last year's nominees were the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Tonys, the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, and a PBS broadcast of "Carousel" live from Lincoln Center). For individual achievements (lighting, sound, etc.), they generally lump them in with variety series.
posted by Etrigan at 9:52 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


*skims thread*

Somebody's throwing an Oscar party where men in their underwear play poker, smoke cigars, and eat bad meat?

But wait, my birthday is in December!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:59 AM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


my prediction is that this year the oscars will be way more exciting than the super bowl was. so joke's on you mr sportswriter guy.
posted by dogwalker at 10:01 AM on February 27, 2014


Actually, I see that you can indeed watch the Oscars online! In a special mobile app. If you subscribe to the right cable network. In one of eight selected cities. In 2014.
posted by gilrain at 10:01 AM on February 27, 2014


my prediction is that this year the oscars will be way more exciting than the super bowl was. so joke's on you mr sportswriter guy.

If this year's oscars manage to be as endlessly creative a crime against cinema as the superbowl was against football, you will not want to miss a moment.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:03 AM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


My oscar party this year will involve a lot of both petty bitching and genuine critique, some minor betting, and me trying to subtly bring every conversation back around to the only nominated movie I've seen this year (Ameican Hustle.)

Man, I'd be feeling petty and bitchy too if the only Oscar-nominated movie I'd seen this year was American Hustle.

I'm not saying it was objectively bad, but I did spend a fair amount of it either dozing off or looking at my watch. Go see Her! It's about us Internet geeks!
posted by psoas at 10:07 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


The absolute main thing you need to be sure of if you host an Oscars Party is whether or not your guests actually want to watch the Oscars. If you invite enough people who are all good friends the ones who aren't all that into the Oscars per se will tend to chat away regardless of what's going on onscreen--which spoils it for the ones who actually do care. Also, as hosts, you'll miss most of what goes on tending to your guests: so if you actually want to watch the ceremony, make sure you tape it (and then you can rewatch it sans commercials, which is all to the good).

Seriously, though, if you invite friends over to "watch the Oscars" be very clear with them about whether or not "watching the Oscars" is really the object of the event.


The one I'm going to is actually a 2-level event, with focused show-watching downstairs and general drinking and jawing upstairs. I thought that was an elegant solution.
posted by COBRA! at 10:11 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just saw Cutie and the Boxer, which is a Best Documentary nominee, on streaming Netflix last night. It's FANTASTIC. Highly recommended if you're into watching Oscar movies this week. Don't read about it, just watch it.
posted by naju at 10:13 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've seen four of the Best Picture-nominated movies (American Hustle, Gravity, Her, The Wolf of Wall Street). Of them, I liked Her best.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:13 AM on February 27, 2014


I predict that very few folks here in the greater Seattle area are going to have nearly as much fun at an Oscar party as we had for the Superbowl.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:15 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a feeling 12 Years A Slave is going to be the winner. Not that it wouldn't be highly-deserved; it's an extremely intense, powerful movie, and Steve McQueen is due to be recognized. But let's be honest, the win would really be about voters patting themselves on the back for feeling enlightened.
posted by naju at 10:17 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


The only Oscar party I ever went to was at a KOA in southern New Mexico. They had a TV upstairs in a community room above the office (flickering lights, an old plaid couch, a pingpong table with no net, linoleum) and a few of the campers gathered to watch Jack Palance do one-armed push-ups through the snowy reception. None of the arch criticism or cattiness -- just strangers watching TV.

Looking back, it was the perfect party.
posted by mochapickle at 10:18 AM on February 27, 2014


At a cinema lover's party, people dress up and have thoughtful conversations about the nominees and the year in cinema. At an Oscars party, everyone sits in their sweatpants and trashes every single thing that happens for four hours.

One of the absolutely most hysterical "Oscar Parties" I ever went to was a spontaneous "hey let's all gather in [foo's] room and watch the Oscars" thing in college where it was all film and drama majors.

The talking-smack was GLORIOUS.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:19 AM on February 27, 2014


I just saw Cutie and the Boxer, which is a Best Documentary nominee, on streaming Netflix last night. It's FANTASTIC. Highly recommended if you're into watching Oscar movies this week. Don't read about it, just watch it.
posted by naju


100% agree, except that now my wife keeps calling me Ushio whenever she doesn't like the way I'm eating a meal.
posted by COBRA! at 10:20 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


27. Let's face it: This year, you have seen three movies. And 3,508 YouTube cat videos.

You are never going to win MetaFilter with that kind of can't do attitude....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:25 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


You mean cat do attitude.
posted by mochapickle at 10:26 AM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


You mean cat do cattitude.
posted by pokermonk at 10:33 AM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, yes I do(g).
posted by mochapickle at 10:34 AM on February 27, 2014


At a cinema lover's party, people dress up and have thoughtful conversations about the nominees and the year in cinema.

Jesus, do people really do this kind of thing? I mean, outside of New Yorker cartoons?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:35 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


The best humor at the expense of a thing is done by people who know the details of what they're talking about. Specificity is the soul of narrative, as John Hodgman is forever telling litigants, and it is also the soul of wit.

Meaning: They should have had their anti-Oscars jokey thing written by someone who knows the Oscars a tad better, I think.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:37 AM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Back in college/immediately post-college, we had Oscar pun-themed potlucks, with things like Chilidog Millionaires, Frosty Nixons, Collards Firth, and Precious: Braised on the Novel “Pork” by Sapphire. I guess this year's menu would be, like, Phyllomena and Dallas Brisket's Club served on The Loaf of Wall Street?
posted by troika at 10:43 AM on February 27, 2014


I've never been to an Oscar watching party. In keeping with the Super Bowl party analogy, is there an inevitable person at every Oscar party who either:

A) Loudly proclaims that they don't watch movies at all and mentions incessantly throughout the night how totally uninterested they are in the award proceedings and are only watching because they want to see the commercials

or

B) Randomly picks a movie at the start of the show that they would like to see win Best Picture, and passionately supports the movie throughout the night, even though they haven't seen the film, have no idea what it's about and couldn't name a single actor who appeared in it?
posted by The Gooch at 10:54 AM on February 27, 2014


even though they haven't seen the film, have no idea what it's about and couldn't name a single actor who appeared in it?

As long as that film with one of the Mannings starring in it loses.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:56 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can I just point out that weird thing some English speakers do, for instance, with Movies/Cinema, where the more latin-sounding synonym implies some sort of pretentiousness not about the thing being named, as it's a synonym and both words refer the same thing, but about the people who use said synonym to refer to the thing in question?
posted by signal at 11:04 AM on February 27, 2014


It took me years to suss out a proper Oscars party to go to. I tried throwing one for my friends (ha!), a meetup group (not bad), and finally found one through friend-of-a-friend. You see, my day-to-day friends are not the right type of people for a good Oscars party. Oh no. You need the right mix of people. Participants must: have seen some (but not all) of the movies, be up to speed on hollywood gossip, fancy themselves witty and speak snark as a second language.

Check your sense of dignity at the door kids.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:04 AM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


the movie industry could make a fortune if they offered a 24 hr stream of all nominated moves for $20 on the Sat before. I guarantee it would be the highest rated Oscars in history.
posted by any major dude at 11:08 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Some AMC theaters have an all-day marathon screening of all nine Best Picture nominations this Saturday.
posted by dnash at 11:11 AM on February 27, 2014


Our local film festival has an Oscar gala every year, where you pay a silly generous amount to share a table and a meal with friends or strangers, depending how you work it. You (and I mean 'we') dress up, buy many bottles of wine or something sparkly, and trash-talk less and less subtly until the evening concludes. Not a bad time, usually!
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 11:14 AM on February 27, 2014


I think I went to an Oscar party once. I was at a friend's apartment watching a hockey game and we were hitting the vaporizer pretty hard. His mom, who lived in the same building but didn't have a television, barged in piss drunk in her bathrobe and demanded we change to the Oscars. Then some friend of his buzzed up unexpectedly - she was very confused and had a story about being in the neighborhood very high on acid when she started getting weird vibes from the guy she was with, so she snuck away to the nearest 'safe space'.

And so, the four of us watched the Oscars. I think The Departed won that year.
posted by mannequito at 11:25 AM on February 27, 2014


signal: Can I just point out that weird thing some English speakers do, for instance, with Movies/Cinema, where the more latin-sounding synonym implies some sort of pretentiousness not about the thing being named, as it's a synonym and both words refer the same thing, but about the people who use said synonym to refer to the thing in question?

Excerpt from the book This Is Orson Welles:
Peter Bogdanovich: Was it true that one director told you not to call them “movies,” but “motion pictures”?

Orson Welles: Ah, that was a friend of yours, Peter—that was George Cukor, and remember, he was from the New York stage. That probably had something to do with it. Nowadays, I’m afraid the word is rather chic. It’s a good English word, though—“movie.” How pompous it is to call them “motion pictures.” I don’t mind “films,” though, do you?

Peter Bogdanovich: No, but I don’t like “cinema.”

Orson Welles: I know what you mean. In the library of Eleonora Duse’s villa in a little town in Veneto where we’ve been shooting just now [The Merchant of Venice], I found an old book—written in 1915—about how movies are made, and it refers to movie actors as “photoplayers.” How about that? Photoplayers! I’m never going to call them anything else.

Peter Bogdanovich: I have a book from 1929, and they list 250 words to describe a talking picture, asking readers to write in their favorites. And “talkie” was only one of them. Others were things like “actorgraph,” “reeltaux,” and “narrative toned pictures.”

Orson Welles: I went with my father to the world premiere in New York of Warner’s first Vitaphone sound picture, which was Don Juan starring Jack Barrymore. I think it was opening night. It was really a silent, with a synchronized sound track full of corny mood music, horse hooves, and clashing swords. But it was preceded by a few short items of authentic talkies—Burns and Allen, George Jessel telephoning his mother, and Giovanni Martinelli ripping the hell out of Pagliacci. My father lasted about half an hour and then went up the aisle dragging me with him. “This,” he said, “ruins the movies forever.” He never went back to a movie theatre as long as he lived.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:36 AM on February 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Isn't it all about making snacks themed to each movie.
posted by vespabelle at 11:52 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


21. It would be cool if Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar. But not as cool as if he pulled up to the Oscars in a 1970 Chevy Chevelle Super Sport.

No, dummy, the joke is

21. Matthew McConaughey, are you going to pull up to the Oscars in a 1970 Chevy Chevelle Super Sport? No? It'd be a lot cooler if you did.
posted by Mapes at 12:16 PM on February 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


The best thing about award shows is all the cool people on twitter pointing out how cool they are for not caring about award shows and how disgusted they are that anyone does.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM on February 27, 2014


19. Men have it easy at the Oscars. Basically there's one rule: Don't show up looking like Mr. Peanut.

CHALLENGE SO ACCEPTED.
posted by Spatch at 12:30 PM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


The main reason to watch the Oscars this year will be to see which celebrities sit on their hands when Woody Allen's name is announced and which ones give him a standing ovation.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


signal: Can I just point out that weird thing some English speakers do, for instance, with Movies/Cinema, where the more latin-sounding synonym implies some sort of pretentiousness not about the thing being named, as it's a synonym and both words refer the same thing, but about the people who use said synonym to refer to the thing in question?

Word choice is a class marker in English. If I remember my Bill Bryson correctly (I probably don't), the particular distinction you're noting goes back to the Norman Conquest. Those "latin-sounding synonyms" started leaking down into English from the French ruling classes. Here are some examples of words where we had perfectly good English variants, but also adopted the French versions into our lexicon.
posted by Freon at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2014


I'm rooting for McConaughey to win an Oscar, if only so he can play Roger Daltrey in the biopic.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:39 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll be rooting for Mac to win by watching him star in Born on the 4th of July on HBO.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:40 PM on February 27, 2014


I'm convinced McConaughey is going to win not because he was the best actor this year but because the Academy is really ashamed about snubbing him for 'Ladies of Tampa' last year.
posted by troika at 12:43 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Men have been getting away with slip-shod tailoring at the Oscars for far too long. There shall be a reckoning. A catty, tipsy reckoning.
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on March 2, 2014


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