Your essential guide to the 84th annual Academy Awards

By: Natalie Bahadur

Author: Canadian Living


Your essential guide to the 84th annual Academy Awards

By: Natalie Bahadur
The Academy Awards might be the biggest night of the year in the movie business but they're also a big night for us regular folks who like to get into the spirit of awards season from the comfort of our homes.

Whether you're hosting friends for an Oscar party or watching solo, we're here to make sure you get the most out of the night. Find out what to expect on this year's red carpet and enjoy an evening of good eats with menus inspired by some of this year's Oscar-nominated movies.

However you choose to spend the evening, kick back, relax and enjoy!

Our editors' Academy Award predictions
Check out our picks for this year's top award contenders. Executive editor, Doug O'Neill, and life editor, Donna Paris discuss who they think should go home with Oscar gold this year.

Fashion and beauty

Before the annual Academy Awards get underway, celebrities sashay down the red carpet, showing off couture gowns and shoes, and setting fashion trends for the coming year. Get into the spirit with these fashion and beauty articles:

Oscar fashion predictions: What will we see on this year’s red carpet?

Find out what your favourite celebrities will be wearing on the red carpet at this year's Academy Awards. Our fashion and beauty editor forecasts the best in Oscar fashion.

Photo gallery: 10 special occassion dresses
If you're attending a special occasion, amp up your style with one of these red carpet worthy dresses!

Celebrity makeup and beauty secrets revealed
Find easy tips and professional tricks to achieving star-worthy makeup and hair at home.

Best and worst dressed: Oscars 2011

Take a look back at last year’s red carpet hits and misses.

Food & drink
The Oscars offer up the perfect excuse to throw a party. If you’re having friends over, get inspired with these fabulous food and drink ideas:

Canada's best cheeses to buy for your party
Our guide to Canada's best supermarket and specialty cheeses from coast to coast.

14 easy appetizers
Five-ingredient, make-ahead or ready-to-freeze, these hors d'oeuvres are all fuss-free -- so you can wow guests while you join the party.

Oscar night sushi party menu
Don't miss the Academy Awards show this Sunday! Invite your friends over and serve up this tasty, TV-friendly menu.

How to host a raclette dinner party
If you're looking for a show-stopping menu to serve your friends for the annual Academy Awards, look no further than your very own raclette!

Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail

Havarti-Stuffed Cocktail Tomatoes

The complete Canadian Living wine guide
Everything you need to know about wine in one place.

Page 1 of 3: Check out menus inspired by 2012 Oscar-nominated movies on page 2

Menus inspired by Oscar-nominated movies
There are so many fantastic movies nominated for Academy Awards this year. The following three favourite devised menu ideas fit the theme of each film. Whether you're hosting friends or enjoying a quiet night in, these movie-inspired menus will really put you in the mood to settle in and watch the Oscars.

10 great hot dog 'n' burger combos
Here are some great suggestions to spice up your burger or hot dog.


Grilled potato wedges
Crisped outside, tender inside, these potatoes please everyone.

Caramel almond popcorn
This old-time favourite is the ideal gift for adults and children alike.

Garlic peanuts

The Help
Crispy fried chicken with basil
A fried coating of sweet potato starch gives this chicken its uniquely chewy yet crispy texture.

Sweet potato cottage pie

Collard greens with garlic and pepper flakes

Black-eyed peas

New Orleans beignets

Midnight in Paris
Soup au gratin

Ham and cheese baguette toast

Escargot tarts

French almond macaroons
These darlings of every French pastry shop are worth the effort and fuss for which they are famous.

Miniature eclairs
These mini mouthfuls are so irresistible that you'll need to count on two or three per person.

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Celebrity fun
Can't get enough of your favourite celebrities? We've got you covered!

Hottest Canadian celebrity hangouts
Where do celebrities hang out in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and other Canadian cities? We dish on celebrity spotting in some of Canada's trendiest hot spots.

Nosh like the stars: Celebrity snack food favourites
Everyone loves a snack -- so what do the rich and famous do? Find out the secret cravings of Nicole Richie, Oprah, TomKat and even Elvis!

Dinner and a movie menus

Celebrate the Oscars with great movies and awesome food.

Quiz: Who's your classic Hollywood style icon?
From Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe, classic beauty never goes out of style. Which Hollywood icon is most like you? Grab a pencil, tally your score and discover your style double.

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Your essential guide to the 84th annual Academy Awards