Oscar Shorts Are Back: Live Action

Academy Award, Oscar

Oscar Shorts are Back!

This year’s nominees for best live action shorts are playing in theaters. This year’s nominees seemed to trend a little longer than usual overall Only one was under 20 minutes, and the longest was 37 minutes (total, 2.5 hours). I’ll write about the Oscar-nominated short documentaries tomorrow. 

Invincible (US) – directed by Vincent Rene-Lortie. Based on a true story of a 14-year-old boy whose behavior problems have separated him from a loving family. The staff of the facility where he lives is trying to work with him, but neither they nor his family influences the choices he makes (trailer).

Knight of Fortune (Denmark) – directed by Lasse Lyskjaer Noer, Knight of Fortune tells how, Karl (played by Leif Andrée), in a visit to the morgue to view the body of his long-time wife, finds he cannot bring himself to open her coffin. An unlikely alliance between Karl and another widower, Torben (Jens Jørn Spottag), helps him face her death. Though the overall tone is bittersweet, there are darkly humorous moments and a strong sense of shared humanity (trailer).

Red, White and Blue (US) – directed by Nazrin Choudhury. A positive pregnancy test forces a single mother of two (played by Brittany Snow), working as a waitress and living paycheck-to-paycheck to make difficult decisions, as she and her ten-year-old daughter go on a road trip across several states in search of an abortion (trailer).

The After (UK) – Misan Harriman directed. Acclaimed British actor David Oyelowo plays a London man who must try to rebuild his life after a devastating street assault. Taking a job as a taxi driver, he meets all sorts, but cannot outrun his trauma (trailer).

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (UK/US) – Wes Anderson’s version of the Roald Dahl short story about a wealthy Englishman (Benedict Cumberbatch) who learns a Guru’s way “to see without his eyes,” so that he can cheat at blackjack. Also in the cast: Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, and Richard Ayoade. With its big-budget production values and stellar cast, it’s quite an oddball (as is anything Wes Anderson produces) in this collection, which is more typically where up-and-coming filmmakers with limited budgets cut their teeth (trailer).

Our local moviehouse shows the shorts on three nights (live action, animated, documentary). See the schedule for your area, and get tickets from Shorts TV here. Some may be available on YouTube too.