“In the documentary feature category, you find two films predominately about people of color and injustice (‘Summer of Soul’ and ‘Attica’) as well as ‘Flee,’ about a gay refugee,” he said. “There’s also two best picture nominees, ‘CODA’ and ‘Drive My Car,’ which feature sign language, adding to the (idea) of diversity, which is not just about race and religion sometimes but different abilities. There’s also the best original song nominee, ‘Somehow You Do’ from ‘Four Good Days,’ which starred Glenn Close and Mila Kunis. The Neon worked with families of addicts to bring that film to town. The Neon is about community engagement and working with the community in different ways. ‘Four Good Days’ would have never hit our big screen if we weren’t working with a local organization to spread awareness about addiction.”
Last year’s Neon Oscar Party was an unpublicized affair due to COVID-19, but McNeal is eager to extend a larger invitation to the public this year. However, reservations will only be accepted beginning at noon on Sunday, March 27, the date of the Oscars. Patrons can pick up ballots in a few weeks.
“We’re excited to bring the party back to a bigger capacity,” he said. “Still, we won’t have a sell-out house and current COVID protocols will be in place.”
In the meanwhile, The Neon will screen the live action and animated short film nominees beginning Feb. 25. Screenings of the nominated documentaries is slated for March. The Neon is located at 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton. For more information, visit neonmovies.com.
In related news, Dayton native Curtiss Cook is featured as Abe in best picture nominee “West Side Story,” a glorious remake whose seven nominations include Steven Spielberg for best directing and Ariana DeBose for best supporting actress.
For a complete list of this year’s Oscar nominees visit oscars.org.