Oscar Nominated Shorts 2013 – Live Action

Shorts HD has released a program comprised of all the Oscar nominated shorts. Locally, only Carolina Cinemas is carrying it. At our theater, the animated and live action shorts have been combined into one epic program (three and a half hours long). Unfortunately the only time they showed the documentary shorts was Wednesday at 11 a.m. My wife had to work and I devoted my day to the Die Hard marathon at The Biltmore Grande.

The Live Action Shorts program runs about two hours and contains all five of the Oscar-nominated films. For once I thought all five films were Oscar-worthy.

Asad: Asad is a startling offbeat tale of a young boy in Somalia, torn between fishing and piracy.

Buzkashi Boys: This is a great slice of life tale of two young boys set in Kabul. Buzkashi Boys actually has a fair amount in common with Asad.

Curfew:  This was an inventive story with backgrounds that begged to be expanded on. We are dumped right in the middle of an ongoing, rather depressing, story. The ideas are good as are the questions raised.

Death of a Shadow: I loved Death of a Shadow. The setting, backstory, and steampunk style were all marvelous. Unfortunately they saddled it to a main storyline that was rather trite. I would love to see the same people handle a similar topic as a feature film.

Henry: I have to pick Henry over the other stories. While the plotline becomes clear fairly quickly (second only to Death of a Shadow in obviousness), the way it is told is very heartfelt. I’m not ashamed to say that Henry had me crying by the end – Les Miserables did not give me even the slightest sniffle.

My Wife’s Take: We saw all five shorts at the theater this weekend.  My pick for best? Henry, a story told from the point of view of a man whose losing his memory.  I cried like a baby (as did Marc, and many others in the theater).  Also worth catching:  all the rest of them.  Most were flawed (Death of a Shadow was most disappointing in that it might have been great, instead of being merely good), but all were worth a look.