In honor of the 87th Annual Academy Awards, we’ve prepared a selection of themed menus to pair with each of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture. This year’s batch is wonderfully eclectic, so our menus vary from sophisticated party fare in homage of The Theory of Everything to kid-friendly food for Boyhood.
Feeling extra ambitious? Mix-and-match foods from all the films and enjoy a smorgasbord of cinema eats.
This deeply engrossing film revolves around Chris Kyle, the deadliest marksman in US military history. The heart-wrenching biopic capitalizes on the talents of director Clint Eastwood and a gripping performance from Bradley Cooper (also nominated for Best Actor), offering an intense, vivid, and haunting depiction of the realities of war and the lasting effect they have on those who defend our country.
The menu: We based this menu on Chris Kyle’s home state: Texas. Each selection is a tried-and-true Texas favorite—fried, full of butter, and extra heavy on the comfort.
Birdman follows Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton), an actor who’s famous for portraying an iconic superhero (so meta, we know). Now washed up and all but forgotten, the man decides to put on a Broadway play in an attempt to become relevant again. Daring and filled with incredible performances from A-list actors including Edward Norton and Emma Stone, this highly original flick from director Alejandro Iñárritu offers a darkly funny take on the film industry, fame, and public perception of art.
The menu: Ok, so we know this one is a little cheesy. But we couldn’t resist the opportunity to go with the easy target: poultry. Each of these dishes offers a different—but equally delectable—take on a different bird.
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood is an unprecedented cinematic feat. Richard Linklater’s masterpiece is a coming-of-age story that tracks a young boy’s growth from childhood to adulthood. With an incredibly ambitious experimental concept and terrific performances (Patricia Arquette is nominated for Best Actress for her role as the boy’s mother), Boyhood is a serious Best Picture contender.
The menu: We’ve chosen a fitting selection of kid-friendly favorites to rouse the same nostalgia Boyhood is able to ignite on the screen. Go on, cater to the your inner child.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
If you’ve seen a Wes Anderson movie, you can immediately identify his characteristic style: his films are always artsy, visually stunning, and technically precise. The Grand Budapest Hotel is no different—one of the biggest draws of the movie is just how stylish it is. The film recounts the life and adventures of Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel, and his friend Zero (Tony Revolori), the lobby boy. Colorful, charming, and sometimes manic, every single frame of this whimsical film is a work of art.
The menu: Though The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka (fun fact: Anderson named the country after a Polish bison grass vodka), it was filmed entirely in Germany, and many of its visual elements have a particularly German flair. Working off of that, this menu incorporates traditional German dishes.
The Imitation Game
From his acclaimed portrayal of the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit to his wildly popular television series Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch has become a critics’ darling. The star-studded actor stars in The Imitation Game as Alan Turing, a real-life mathematician, cryptanalyst, and war hero who helped solve the German Enigma code during WWII and was later prosecuted for his homosexuality. Though the true story is dramatized slightly for the sake of plot, this film serves as an illuminating and haunting companion to the many biopics nominated for Best Picture this year.
The menu: As The Imitation Game takes place in WWII-era Britain, this menu derives its inspiration from classic British dishes.
It takes a special kind of actor to portray the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and thankfully Selma‘s David Oyelowo is just the man for the job. Oyelowo fuels the film with conviction and grace, achieving a gripping and believable performance of Dr. King. The film chronicles King’s tumultuous three-month Selma campaign in 1965—one of the most significant victories in the Civil Rights Movement—and reminds audiences that there’s still work to do to truly achieve his dream.
The menu: Nestled in heart of Alabama, Selma is known for down-home Southern cuisine. Because of this, we’ve chosen three Southern classics for our menu.
The Theory of Everything
An account of Stephen Hawking’s life, The Theory of Everything is both heart-breaking and inspirational. Equal parts biopic and love story, the film follows Hawking’s (Eddie Redmayne) relationship with Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), his scientific career, and his earth-shattering diagnosis of motor neuron disease at the age of 21. The two leading performances are spectacular and offer a fitting tribute to the incredible man upon whom the film is based.
The menu: This film’s menu is inspired by one of Stephen and Jane’s first dates: the 1963 May Ball at Cambridge University. Elegant and magical, the scene is something out of a fairytale. Emulate the atmosphere with small bites and a classic cocktail.
One of the lesser known Best Picture nominees, Whiplash offers raw, commanding performances from J.K. Simmons and breakout star Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, That Awkward Moment, Divergent). The film tells the story of Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer who comes under the instruction of the ruthless and volatile Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) at one of the best music schools in the world. Boasting nearly universal critical acclaim, Whiplash is an exhilarating and unforgettable ride down the rocky path one must take to become a great artist.
The menu: Ok, so we’ll admit this was a difficult one. What kind of food goes with a film about a drummer at an elite music conservatory? It may be a bit of a stretch, but for this menu, we decided to go with a little play on words: drumsticks, three ways.