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Coming Up Short -- Nothing But Praise for this Year's Live Action Short Noms




This category was pretty amazing this year.  Five powerful films.  Five important stories.  Each one told a story, made us care, and landed the plane well, in under 35 minutes. It’s not an easy task, but each of these films did a great job.

 

The After      Netflix        A+


OMG.  This is a live action short film, not a documentary.  It killed me.  I am dead.  David Oyelowo KILLED me.  I am slain and lying dead on my living room floor.  The film is 18 minutes long and I am changed FOREVER.  I can’t say more.  You need to watch it. 


The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar   Netflix    A (This film won the Oscar.)


This is a magical live action short, directed by Wes Anderson with a star studded cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, and Dev Patel.  This is Wes Anderson at his best.  His brand of storytelling is lush, exotic, hilarious, intricate, and intriguing…and best seen in short form.  This is an absolutely delightful retelling of a Roald Dahl story.  It is magical, whimsical, and worth watching over and over.

 

Knight of Fortune          The New Yorker           A-


Another wonderful short action live film from Denmark.  First time writer/director Lasse Lyskjaer Noer introduces us to Karl, who is tasked with visiting the morgue to say goodbye to his wife, a task he does not seem ready for.  Karl has a chance meeting with another griever in the men’s room and we are off to the races, so to speak, in a sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious look at grief.  It’s 26 minutes and worth every second.

 

Invincible         Vimeo            A-


This Canadian live action short follows the real life story of 14 year-old Marc-Antoine Bernier in the last desperate 48 hours of his young life as he struggles to find peace and freedom.  This is a truly tragic and beautiful film by Vincent Rene-Lortie.  The film’s strength lies in the performance of Leokim Beaumier-Lepine, this young actor is one to watch.

 

Red, White and Blue    Vimeo Rental     A-


This short comes to us from executive producer Samantha Bee and director Nazrin Choudhury.  At first glance this film appears to be a commentary on difficulty women have in getting an abortion in today’s world.  This would be misleading.  Spoiler Alert there is a plot twist that is not expected.  I will say no more.  Brittany Snow is excellent as a down on your luck mother of two children, desperately trying to figure out how to get an abortion.

 

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