I am a particular fan of the Short Film categories for the Oscars. This is a genre where good story telling shines and those who can’t tell a story fall on their faces. Can you get in, achieve your goals, and successfully stick the landing within a short time frame? I would say that all five of this year’s nominations for LIVE ACTION SHORTS were fairly successful at this, while four managed it beautifully and one for those four did it best…in my opinion. My fear is the one that was lesser, will take the award because of the big names attached. That would be a shame. By the way, you can see these films screen at your local art house right now, and with any luck they will be available to stream later in the year.
Oscar Nominated Live Action Short 2023
Ivalu - Denmark – 16 Minutes A
A beautiful, devastating film about a young girl who searches for her missing sister in the stunning and stark landscape of Greenland. It is based on a critically acclaimed graphic novel. Great storytelling, sweeping cinematography, gut wrenching. Worth watching.
Night Ride - Norway - 15 Minutes A
A great little film that follows Ebba as she makes a decision on a cold December night that will challenge her idea of who she is and what she stands for. Lovely, emotional, charming, funny and a great statement about bullying. Not to be missed.
Le Pupille – Italy, USA – 37 minutes B
This is a clumsy (their words, not mine – although, I agree) little film that has some great cinematic moments but stumbles all over itself trying to be cute. It is a Disney original, with Alfonso Cuaron as a producer. With that pedigree it should be better than it is – alas, that is not the case. Not the worst half hour you could spend, but your life won’t suffer if you miss it.
The Red Suitcase – Luxembourg - 18 Minutes A
This film is master class in how to quickly get an audience on the side of your hero and have them leaning forward in their chairs to root for someone they have only just met. I will admit I yelled at the screen in a public theater. I did, because I was so all in. This is great story telling. Suspense, emotion, heart-stopping moments? Check, check and check. See it.
An Irish Goodbye – Ireland – 23 Minutes A++
BRILLIANT. This is the kind of film that changes you. Two brothers return to the family farm after their mother’s funeral, one has moved away the other is an adult with Down’s Syndrome (brilliantly and authentically played by James Martin). Decisions must be made about the farm and who will live where, now that mom has gone. What transpires is beautiful and unexpected, tragic and hilarious. I am a better person for having seen this film and I think everyone who sees it will feel the same way. You should not miss this one.