And then there is the category of Live Action Shorts. I love this category because when someone gets it right, it is a thing of beauty, a HAIKU of film. And when they don’t get it right, at least you didn’t invest a lot of time. Here are my never before seen reviews of this year’s nominees – short ones. No pun intended. I have not yet seen Ala Kachua, Take and Run….I will guess with you on that one!
The Dress B
This Polish short is a devastating look at the plight of a young woman, a little person, who longs to become a grown woman in every sense of the expression. I love that this film illustrates the sexuality and sexual desires of individuals even when society deems them “different”. There is some really lovely character work and the writing of the relationship between the two female leads is beautiful and feature worthy. I did not love the ending and feel the need to say that some may find this film triggering. All in all, they accomplished a lot in a short format.
The Long Goodbye A+
Enough already! Someone give Riz Ahmed an Oscar. He deserves if for this one. This is…wait for it…a perfect film. I know. I said it. I meant it. I watched it four or five times to make sure I wasn’t speaking hyperbolically. It’s the real deal. Short, so, so short and yet it says so much, accomplishes sooooo much. I don’t want to give anything away, so there is not much I can say. See it without expectation, except to know that you are in good hands and the 10 minutes you spend watching this film may be the most important minutes you spend…today, this week, this year. Go watch it before the awards so you can enjoy watching Riz finally get his Oscar. For those of you who don’t know, Riz (I’m calling him that like we are friends now, I am dreaming) Riz was nominated for Best Actor 2021 for his tour de force performance in The Sound of Metal – this year he is nominated as the Executive Producer for the film FLEE which notably is up for Best Animated Feature, Best International Film AND Best Documentary! For The Long Goodbye he is the creator, co-writer, and lead actor. Give the man his statue.
Please Hold A-
The only live short nominated from the United States, Please Hold is a horrifying and funny look at the future of the criminal justice system. For anyone who has ever thrown their phone in disgust after not being able to talk to a human being while being forever looped into a customer service nightmare of automation – this film will put a cold shiver down your spine. The future is hard to portray with a low budget and low tech. This film is clever in how it masks its budget issues, but they are still visible. The attempt is valiant and noted.
On My Mind B+
This Danish short is the perfect example of how to stick the landing. The film is not great, the script feels like it drags…which is feat in a short, if you think about it. The acting is nothing to write home about either – but the ending is worth watching the movie for. Way to land that plane, you guys!!! Endings are important, I wish more filmmakers understood this concept.
Ala Kachua – Take and Run - At the time this blog was written, there was not a distribution deal on record… we wait.