Sunday, February 14, 2016

The 2016 Oscar Nominated Shorts Program (Live Action)

Stutterer, one of this year's Live Action Short nominees
West Bank religious tensions. Ethnic Cleansing. Child endangerment and kidnapping. Communication barriers. Butchering a stillborn baby to save the mother's life. All part of the lighthearted frolic that is the Oscar Nominated Live Action S horts. The program seems somehow even less inspiring and more pandering this year, as if it is all to apparent to the filmmakers that not creativity but the presentation of timely, horrid shit will secure a nomination. That being said there was some good stuff on hand. Here's a brief rundown:

Ave Maria
Farcical, amusing comedy shows a Jewish family involved in a car accident in Arab town in Palestine and seeking assistance from some cloistered nuns.
*** out of ****

Overwrought but well filmed piece shows Albanian man dolefully reflecting on a childhood friendship during the Kosovo war.
*** out of ****

Everything Will Be Okay
A German father facing loss of custody picks up his daughter and heads to the toy store and the fair before having emergency passports forged and attempting to catch a flight to Manila. This was the first short that really got to me. Its well filmed, well acted, but what's the point (besides the lengths a father will go to blah blah blah)?
** out of ****

An intellectual logophile mute anguishes over meeting the girl he has been conversing with online. My favorite of the lot, employing wit, imagination, and earned empathy. 
**** out of ****

Day One
Ok let's see: a rookie female translator in Afghanistan is forced to deliver a thought to be stillborn from the mother's wound (the husband of whom is a just detained bombmaker) by herself in order to preserve Islam custom. Ugh. 
** out ****

Ok folks that wraps it up. After making it out of the shorts program alive, you can find me on the couch the next couple of days popping Xanax, drinking Maker's Mark, and watching the Sound of Music to recover.