Lights, camera… Oscar party. Yes, it’s that time of year again. The red carpet has been unfurled, the movie stars are all primped and primed for close-ups, and Hollywood is ready to turn the spotlight on the best of 2014’s films.
While you may not be invited to a star-studded L.A. after-party, you can have fun with movie-mad friends: Sip some vino, munch hors d’oeuvres, and see if you agree with the Academy on the stand-out movie performances of the year. The Academy has even made an online ballot this year so you can test your predictive skills against those of your friends.
But that doesn’t answer the question good guests are always asking themselves: What to bring to the party? We’ve selected a few great gifts to help you show up at this year’s get-together a winner in your own right.
1. Music to Their Ears
Why not pick up a soundtrack or two for your host? Our favorites: the songs in Selma and Boyhood, two of the Best Picture nominees. Selma features stars past and present, including John Legend and Common, Otis Redding, and Jason Moran. Boyhood music spans the last 20 years, with Coldplay, Wilco, Arcade Fire, and Bob Dylan as part of the eclectic mix. Grab a CD at your local store, or create a Spotify playlist and offer to stream it at the party.
2. Book It
If your friend loved The Theory of Everything, find a copy of one of Stephen Hawking’s masterworks for some in-depth reading. Or look inside the man’s life, with his wife Jane Hawking’s powerful memoir, Travelling to Infinity: The True Story Behind The Theory of Everything.
More interested in the code-breakers? The book to bring is Alan Turing: The Enigma, which inspired The Imitation Game.
3. Movie Memories
This cute paperback film journal from Scout Mob will let your host jot down notes and reviews all year long. It allows the owner to keep track of movies s/he has enjoyed or wants to see, along with a convenient rating scale on each page to keep track of what worked and didn’t about each film.
4. Movie Trivia
Anytime movie buffs gather, a trivia knowledge battle is just waiting to break out. Keep some order in the proceedings with these trivia cards—there are 1,200 questions, covering five categories: comedy, action, drama, sci-fi/horror, and awards. And if you don’t have time to pick up a game before you arrive, just download a game like Heads Up or MoviePop to your phone before you arrive.
5. Dinner and a Movie
Movie Menus: Recipes for Perfect Meals with Your Favorite Films, is a great hostess gift for someone who has a film obsession. Any true film fan will enjoy eating and cooking his or her way through movie genres with this clever book as their guide. There’s a Renaissance feast for Shakespeare in Love, Southern fried chicken with gravy for Gone with the Wind, and more. Bonus: plenty of cool photos and movie trivia for after-dinner browsing.
6. One-of-a-Kind Earrings
Vintage movie film is recycled into these fun, unique earrings from Etsy seller ThatOldBlueHouse2.
7. Vino, for the Invitation You Can’t Refuse
Anyone can bring a bottle of wine to a party, but your Oscars host will appreciate that bottle of red much more when it comes from Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. This Coppola Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a fruity vintage, “with aromas and flavors of black currants, cherries, boysenberries, cinnamon stick, vanilla, smoky woods, and a floral note, all of which create a beguiling, fragrant finish.
8. Classic Movie Snacks
What’s a movie night without popcorn and candy? This Movie Night Popcorn And Candy Collection gift basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets covers your bases with peanut crunch, peanut butter malted milk balls, Tootsie Rolls, chocolate-striped caramel corn, kettle corn, microwave popcorn, and zesty ranch popcorn seasoning. The basket also includes mini popcorn tubs, in case you can persuade your host to share.
9. Collector’s DVD Boxed Set
If your friend’s a serious movie fan, you’ll always win brownie points by delivering a quality boxed set. And while there are plenty of Oscar-winning actors and directors with boxed sets to choose from, you can’t go wrong choosing one of these five classics:
This DVD set boasts five of the master of suspense’s best films: Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest, and The Birds.
Four all-time favorite movies featuring the suave star: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, My Favorite Wife, Night and Day, and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.
James Dean: The essence of American cool, a heartthrob and style icon. Here, the three movies that capture the young star in his prime.
Two stars just made to be together on the silver screen. Watch movie magic happen before your eyes.
The powerful story of the Corleone family is the stuff of legends, and the very definition of classic cinema.
If you bring any of these, your host will definitely feel appreciated—and will happily invite you to next year’s Oscars watch. Enjoy the show!