The way I view the Oscars is as if they are a more formal version of the Super Bowl. Instead of playing football and tackling sweaty men in pads, you have occasionally humorous comedy from the host and you get to hear the exact same people who have already won numerous awards for portraying a minority or a famous figure. The Oscars are a ritual I watch every year and will get excited about come November when the Oscar worthy movies are generally released. Do I always get angry when they ignore my favorite films of the year from Romania, as they have done in the past? Yes. Will I heavily criticize the actors up for the awards? Of course. Since I so value the Oscars, and since they are on Sunday, what better way to celebrate ten movies in the running for Best Picture than by the thing that unites us all, food.
For my list, I've taken all ten nominees and given each film a food item that the characters would eat or food that represents the movie in a fun and creative way. Enjoy, and hopefully, my meals will inspire you to create your own Oscar experience.
The Hurt Locker
To start the list, I'm going with the film that will most likely win the Best Picture Oscar. As an Army stand by, a recipe for some Shit on a Shingle(In polite culinary terms, chipped beef on toast) would help take you to the lines of enemy territory. As a fun, added bonus, you might want to get some Pop Rocks as a cute dessert item. Sandstorms and bomb dismantling not included.
Up in the Air
Once poised to win Best Picture and a slew of other awards, now most likely stuck with the Best Adapted Screenplay, this film deals a lot with flying the friendly skies and the life of a man who has spent his life on planes. To authenticate the in flight experience, go for some Rold Gold Mini Pretzels and a microwavable TV dinner, perhaps food from Stouffer's or other frozen food companies. Though I'd advise not to rent Norbit as your in flight movie.
Cute in parts, but ultimately unsettling, An Education has an authentic olde timey British feel to it. Not my favorite of the year, but its strong performances carry the flawed and somewhat cute movie to great heights. As cliche as it may be, Tea and Crumpets and some sweet and milky Cadbury chocolate buttons to complete the meal. Not so much a dinner as it is a most excellent snack for tea time.
Tarantino must have had lots of fun with this movie, because his creative flair is most evident in Basterds. A Spaghetti Western at heart, what better way to follow its genre than to make...spaghetti?! And since Basterds is all about Nazi scalping, why not add some German sausage on top of a nice bed of Angel Hair? Arguably the oddest meal on the list, but one that will improve with rich red sauce to match the pretty reds in the film.
The most whimsical film of 2009, Up relies on colors and a strong heart to move and affect the viewers. Since the film is childlike and very pretty to look at, might I suggest some brightly colored cupcakes, adorned with Skittles or Gumdrops, hell, even baloons or something fun to decorate the cupcakes with. Use bright colors in everything you use to enhance your meal, and to pay tribute to Russell, some Worms in Mud would bring out the kid in you.
Tragic, hard to watch at times, but ultimately uplifting, Precious is a strong and unique film amid a bunch of cookie cutter Hollywood fare. Though in the film, the characters pig out of junk food like Cheetos and Fried Chicken, it would also help if you were to add a strong and robust food entry to finish up the dining experience. Add some spice to a thick and powerful Sirloin steak to give it the flavor and spice of life.
Personally, I felt that Avatar was an eye popping treat that delivered every dollar you paid for. Its gorgeous visuals are breathtaking, and the film, though flawed, is just plain fun. Going with the fun aspect of Avatar, I'd suggest scoring some blue cotton candy and popcorn, almost like what you'd get at a fun fair. And for the health food nut, blueberries relate to the blue characters and the natural aspect of the film. Not everyone's favorite, but it's worth giving a look.
The Blind Side
I haven't seen The Blind Side, but from what I gather, it's Sandra Bullock playing a nice white lady and doing what Julia Roberts did ten years ago. As empowering as Precious was, The Blind Side is just another case of Hollywood celebrating boring inspirational biopics. White bread with white mayo and American cheese brings out the boring and very white aspect of the film, and some pork rhinds to scarf down while watching some good ol' football.
A Serious Man
I loved A Serious Man, as I love the Coen bros. It was very well thought out, very Jewish and just plain compelling. Taking the 1960's and looking at it from a perspective of a man who is slowly losing it all. A Rheuben sandwich and anything typically Jewish from a deli would satisfy the characters in the film, Latkes are also good enough to bring together Jews and Gentiles alike.
I quite liked District-9, having spent the previous year learning about the Aparthied in S. Africa, which allowed me to understand better the subject matter and the importance of the film overall. Nothing very edible in this movie, unfortunately, apart from cat food of course, but to get nice and creative with the meal/movie is to ponder what your last meal would be were the end of the world to happen tomorrow. Because in District-9, everyone is on the brink of destruction.