I went to an Oscar party last Sunday that was truly a blast. All I could think of was how different it was than when I was a kid, when I would get so upset because my parents didn't let me stay up until the end of the show. Now, I'm old enough to pretend that I saw all of the movies and make seemingly well-informed commentary about how Leo has never won an Oscar. I learned that the best way to watch the Oscars is with a big group of some of your snarkiest friends. Round them all up and be merry: it's bound to be a good time.
The host of the party will provide some small appetizers, but come fed. It is good form to arrive before the opening monologue. You walk in the room and are given a hilarious bingo board with some things that happen at the Oscars every year (put an X through this square if “a winner tells his or her kids to go to bed in his or her speech” or “a winner in a technical category has long hair.”).
You also fill out a ballot sheet before ceremony starts. Who will win?! You make most of your decisions based off of the Golden Globe winners. But you also choose the people you hope will win. This year, I picked Inside Llewyn Davis anytime it was mentioned because I really wanted it to win something. And because that, along with Blue Jasmine and Frozen, was the only movies I saw.
You will spend a considerable amount of time trying to find a live stream, especially if you are a poor college student with no cable. Then you finally find it, and miss part of the jokes, but you know you can watch the monologue on YouTube later.
You scan the audience for some celebs you really care about. You freak out because you see Emma Watson and you're like, “Where is Daniel? And why is she here? Is it something to do with the Bling Ring?” Then you realize, “Oh, she will present something later.” When it happens, everybody in your group will be talking. You will have to shout “Shut up!” when Zac Efron or Chris Evans suddenly walk onto the screen. Maybe you get a “Zac Efron Alert” text from your friend. And then if you miss what they say, you are momentarily pissed. Or maybe you send that friend who is obsessed with Jared Leto a congratulatory text saying that “Yay, we did it, he won!!”
Then, look who it is! The token comedian, who is not Ellen DeGeneres, comes in and steals the show while presenting one of the movies that is nominated for Best Picture. And you breathe a sigh of relief. Three cheers for Jim Carrey. Oh, and Will Smith presenting Best Picture.
Although I am usually completely against using phones in a social setting, they are great tools for when someone asks, “Wait, what did Harrison Ford win an Oscar for again?” Someone will designate himself the One Who Googles. But there will definitely be someone who is on her phone the entire time.
There will also be another friend there who hasn't seen any of the films and doesn't care about movies, but will provide color commentary just to make fun of this whole scene: it's basically everyone in Hollywood getting together and telling each other that they did a good job that year and validating each other's existence.
You try to forget the fact that a small number of people voted for these movies and often they have no idea what how to judge some of the categories. Then you get irrationally angry that Gravity won everything, even though you never saw it and have absolutely no basis for your disapproval.