Prepare for an emotional workout
Trials and tribulations in myriad forms are at the center of all five Oscar-nominated documentary short films this year.
| Original Score: 3/5
As unreliable as the Academy Awards may be at every possible level, it's a relief to encounter the 2013 Oscar-nominated shorts ...
My personal pick of the five goes to the 10-years-in-the-making "King's Point" about a retirement village where one of filmmaker Sari Gilman's grandparents resided.
| Original Score: B
The films in this program contain some of the most powerful images to be seen on the screen this year.
If you come to have your eyes opened to tales of human suffering and resilience, you stand to get more than your money's worth.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
The five nominees for an Oscar this year for Best Documentary Short all deal with weighty issues - homelessness, illness, old age. But they all do so on a very human level, eye to eye with the viewer.
| Original Score: 3/4
This impressive showcase of cinematic treasures all have in common the amazing way that a complete story arc comes to fruition in a brief amount of time. The clear-cut favorite is "Strangers No More" in this category.
The documentary program is almost entirely devoted to well-intentioned presentations of bad news about the world.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
These are certainly important topics worthy of our attention. Keeping that attention, however, is another matter with uneven results.
This year's Oscar-nominated documentary short films (shown theatrically in two separate programs) lack the journalistic integrity one would expect in this category.
Unfortunately, this year's nonfiction crop largely underlines the limitations of movies with big subjects but compact running times.