Going to college in the middle of nowhere Ohio does not lend itself well to independent film and the Oscar Shorts Programs. Last year in Cleveland, I also found it to be quite difficult to find the right theater at the right time showing the programs. This year, in Los Angeles, it was much easier.
Let’s start with the Oscar Documentary Shorts.
Documentary Short Subject
CaveDigger; Facing Fear; Karama Has No Walls; The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life; Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
Should Win: I am back and forth between two of these shorts. Karama Has No Walls was a fearless and extraordinary feat. While Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall had be weeping like a baby. I felt terribly sorry for the man sitting next to me who had to listen to me sobbing and sniffling. Side note: You can catch this short on HBO at the end of the month. As for the other three, CaveDigger was quirky, fun, and beautiful to watch, Facing Fear did nothing for me and was clearly the weakest of the five, and I caught myself dozing off in The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life despite the upbeat and lovable character of the subject. While Karama Has No Walls is an edge-of-your-seat Tim Hethington-type film, Prison Terminal had me emotionally.
Will Win: While I think there is a chance that the Academy will award Karama Has No Walls for the accomplishment of this film, The Lady in Number 6 features quite the character and an upbeat storyline despite its subject matter. It’s rare for the Academy not to award a Holocaust film. I’d go with The Lady in Number 6.
Animated Short Film
Feral; Get a Horse!; Mr. Hublot; Possessions; Room on the Broom
Should Win: Unfortunately, this is a very weak category this year. I loved every single short from last year’s five, while this year I found myself waiting for each to end. That is, except for Get a Horse!, which I have now seen 3 times (Telluride, before Frozen, and at the shorts program), and Mr. Hublot. Mr. Hublot is cute and adorable. It was pleasure to watch and I even found myself emotionally connecting myself to the characters. Get a Horse! is fun. It’s not emotional like last year’s Disney submission, but it is a technical achievement. Not a surprise to anyone, I loved Get a Horse!.
Will Win: Disney will win this award for the second year in a row. Like I said, this is a weak category and Mr. Hublot has the only other shot. There is a chance, but I think the Oscar is going to go to Get a Horse!
Live Action Short Film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me); Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything); Helium; Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoiteaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?); The Voorman Problem
Should Win: Unlike the animated category, the live action category is FULL of great shorts! The only one that didn’t feel as strong as the others was Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?. That Wasn’t Me was TERRIFYING and a struggle to get through, as a woman in particular. Helium got my tears. I LOVED The Voorman Problem. It was so delightful, light, and funny. Martin Freeman is classically hilarious, and the writing was suburb. My favorite though was the French drama Just Before Losing Everything. This was a quiet, but suspenseful story of an abused wife escaping with her children from her husband. While The Voorman Problem was everything I love about shorts, I enjoyed Just Before Losing Everything. The acting, the writing, the storytelling, the suspense. Mostly, the final shot.
Will Win: There isn’t much research about the shorts, but I believe the Academy is going to chose The Voorman Problem for its eccentric story or Just Before Losing Everything for its suspenseful and quality filmmaking. It’s hard to say. Curfew winning last year was such an easy guess for me. I’m interesting to see which will take the prize.
Let’s all take this time to remember not only my favorite Oscar nominated short film of 2012, but my favorite Oscar nominated film of 2012. It gets me every time. Love ya, Disney.