MOVIE REVIEWS: The Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts

I had thought they had already gone away, but discovered that the Oscar-nominated live-action shorts were still playing at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. So, taking advantage of having a child sitter, the Wife and I went to the movies a week ago Sunday.

Pentecost (Ireland / 11 mins)

Damian, who messed up his last chance to serve as an altar boy, gets a reprieve, with the carrot of getting to watch his beloved football. The pep talk one priest gives to the altar boys was reminiscent of a sports coach’s pep talk before the Big Game. Slight, but extremely funny.

Raju (Germany / India / 24 mins)

The most serious of the five films. “A German couple adopts in Kolkata an Indian orphan.” Then they discover more than they bargained for. It’s quite good.

The Shore (Northern Ireland / 30 mins)

This about says it all: “Two boyhood best friends – Joe…and Paddy…- divided for 25 years… When Joe returns home to Northern Ireland, his daughter brings the two men together for a reunion, with unexpected results. What happened all those years ago? Can old wounds be healed? The answer is both hilarious and moving.” Includes one of the most organically funny scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. I loved this film.

Time Freak (USA / 11 mins)

“A neurotic inventor creates a time machine…” and, let’s say, did not take full advantage of the technology. Silly fun.

Tuba Atlantic (Norway / 25 mins)

Oskar, 70 years old, is told by his doctor PRECISELY how many days he has left to live. He wants to reconcile with his estranged brother who lives in New Jersey. Inger, an unlikely public “death angel” is sent out to help Oscar through his remaining days. Will Oskar contact his sibling before it’s too late?
Funny, in a dark, Scandinavian sort of way. (My wife’s least favorite film.)

I managed not to know the winner until after I saw the presentation. I must say that The Shore was the most fully realized film, dealing with the current economic woes, as well as The Troubles, and it deserved to win.

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