Wednesday, February 04, 2015

On The 2015 Oscar Nominated Short Films

My review of this year's Oscar nominated short films was published in The Dispatch today. They're a mixed bag, as usual, but there are some real gems here. Check them out!

Best Animated Short


THE BIGGER PICTURE
"Never quite reaches the level of dark humor mixed with pathos that it seems to want to achieve. (C)"

THE DAM KEEPER
"It is an evocatively rendered and deeply felt work that aims straight for the heart, and hits an unforgettable bullseye. (A)"

FEAST
"An adorable tale of animal love and devotion, looking at human life through the eyes of the pets that love us the most. (B+)"

ME AND MY MOULTON
"Nothing really new here, but Kove's drolly evocative style elevates the material. (B-)"

A SINGLE LIFE
"Surprisingly dark, but brutally funny, "A Single Life" may not be the strongest nominee, but its originality is hard to dismiss. (B)"


Best Documentary Short

CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1

"An essential testament to the men and women who are fighting to save the men and women who saved us. (A-)"

  JOANNA
"A deeply felt and emotionally honest work of art. (A)"

OUR CURSE
"Strangely mundane given the subject matter, "Our Curse" attempts to examine how the couple copes with the stress, but the static shots of them on a couch grind the film to a halt and offer little insight into the situation. (C-)"

THE REAPER
"There are moments of strange beauty, but it just doesn't reach the philosophical heights that it seems to be striving for. (C)"

WHITE EARTH
"Beautifully shot, even if the 19 minute running time hampers the film from hashing out its more interesting ideas. (C+)"


Best Live Action Short

AYA
"The final result feels underwhelming, with the character motivations feeling underdeveloped. (C)"

 BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM
"A short, sweet, and completely winning tale of friendship and the things parents will do for the love of their children that is charming in every way. (B+)"

BUTTER LAMP (LA LAMPE AU BEURRE DE YAK)
"An oddly affecting critique of a culture that has become too obsessed with falsehood at the expense of engaging with the real world around us. (A)"

PARVANEH
"It's a pretty straightforward film, handsomely shot, but the real star here is Nissa Kashani's soulful performance as Parvaneh. (B)"

THE PHONE CALL
"Kirkby keeps the film about the performances, making the most out of Hawkins' face, allowing the subtleties of her performance to carry what could have been a very static film. But he overplays his hand in the end, undercutting the film's haunting denouement with a song choice that just doesn't work. (C+)"

Click here to read my full review in The Dispatch.

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