Watch the Oscars at the Neon’s annual party

If you want to watch the Oscars on the big screen, the Neon is the place to be.

The downtown venue’s annual, free Oscar party, slated Sunday, March 27, will celebrate the best in film in 2021 on a larger scale than last year’s gathering which was an unpublicized affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re excited to once again offer this event for movie lovers in Dayton,” said Neon manager Jonathan McNeal. “It’s going to be a bigger than last year when we capped seating, including (accommodating) people in every other row, and we only had about 40 people attend. So, we’d love to see more than that this year. I know we have a lot of competition with other Oscar parties, but as far as we’re concerned it’s all about the movies and seeing them on the big screen, which is what we’re doing.”

“The Power of the Dog,” director Jane Campion’s brooding, compelling Western about a family coping with alcoholism, jealousy, sexuality and toxic masculinity, leads all films with 12 nominations including Best Picture. Other Best Picture nominees screened at the Neon in the past year include heartwarming family dramas “Belfast” and “CODA,” quietly contemplative Japanese epic “Drive My Car,” stylish thriller “Nightmare Alley,” and nostalgic “Licorice Pizza.”

“It was a powerful year for film,” McNeal said. “It was a year that really shook things up a little, especially with heavy themes such as (relocation) and moving on in “Belfast,” grief and mourning in ‘Drive My Car,’ and the separation of family in ‘Parallel Mothers.’ And these films and themes were handled elegantly and beautifully over the year. The Neon is heavily curated – we’re not just bringing all the franchise films to town. We look for films we feel are great and have merit, films that people will be talking about, and we’re often right.”

Oscar ballots are available now in the Neon lobby. Patrons can drop them off tomorrow, March 26, beginning at noon. Seating reservations will begin at that time as well. In order to be eligible for prizes, you must be present at the party. Doors open at 7 p.m. The presentation begins at 8 p.m. Current COVID protocols will be enforced.

The Neon is located at 130 E. Fifth St. 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 Director and Ariana DeBose for Best Supporting Actress.

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For a complete list of Oscar nominees, visit oscars.org.

Russell’s Oscar Predictions:

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Best Picture

Nominees: “Belfast,” “CODA,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Drive My Car,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “Licorice Pizza,” “Nightmare Alley,” “The Power of the Dog,” “West Side Story”

Will Win: “CODA”

Could Win: “The Power of the Dog”

Should Have Been Nominated: “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Best Director

Nominees: Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car,” Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza,” Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog,” Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story”

Will Win: Campion

Could Win: Branagh

Should Have Been Nominated: Joel Coen, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Best Actor

Nominees: Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos,” Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog,” Andrew Garfield, “tick, tick…BOOM!,” Will Smith, “King Richard,” Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Will Win: Smith

Could Win: Garfield

Should Have Been Nominated: Anthony Ramos, “In the Heights”

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Best Actress

Nominees: Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter,” Penélope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers,” Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos,” Kristen Stewart, “Spencer”

Will Win: Chastain

Could Win: Cruz

Should Have Been Nominated: Emilia Jones, “CODA”

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Ciaran Hinds, “Belfast,” Troy Kotsur, “CODA,” Jesse Plemons, “The Power of the Dog,” J.K. Simmons, “Being the Ricardos,” Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”

Will Win: Kotsur

Could Win: Smit-McPhee

Should Have Been Nominated: Mike Faist, “West Side Story”

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter,” Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story,” Judi Dench, “Belfast,” Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog,” Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard”

Will Win: DeBose

Could Win: Ellis

Should Have Been Nominated: Caitriona Balfe, “Belfast”

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