Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2012
A pretty good fix of shorts that spanned the range of comedy and drama. Thought Raju was the best but of course Oscar-baity The Shore won the Oscar.
February 4, 2013
Always enjoy watching these. I missed last years though. This years batch has one pretty weak entry, (the 4th one about the kids in Afghanistan). But all the others are worth watching. My favorite was the last one, Asad.
½ March 8, 2012
My favorite one of the bunch was Raju, but all of them were enjoyable to an extent. I thought the one that won the Oscar, The Shore, was one of the weaker ones, even though it features Ciaran Hinds, whom I really like as an actor.
½ February 6, 2012
While many presume that the Oscar categories for short films are reserved solely for self-labeled movie highbrows, this mixbag of films range from the laughably pretentious to the surprisingly fresh. This mistakingly overlooked category is an interesting collection of international film that awards the lesser known filmmaker; and while many of them are wholly underwhelming, there are several standouts that may give us a future picture of new directors. Here are the films from the "live-action" category:

The Confession: Estonian director Tanel Toom's short tells the story of two Catholic schoolboys who are preparing for their first confession. When they mistakenly contribute to the murder of a family, they must face their transgression with personal conflicts beyond their age. Winner of the best foreign film at the 2010 Student Academy Awards, the film is technically exceptional. Stellarly crafted and adequately acted, "The Confession's" story does not quite have the plot to back up Toom's technique. Overall, the film's symbolism of a child's innocency is blantantly apparent, and the overall film is quite dreary. Grade: C+

Wish 143: It is phenomenal how a film can connect with its audience within a limited time frame. In director Ian Barne's Wish 143, 15-year-old cancer patient David asks for one wish before he dies: to lose his virginity. When he realizes that death is closer than it appears, he starts to look past the superficiality of life and the futility of his raunchy desires. Wish 143 displays the finest acting of all the live-action shorts and fine execution. David's self-realization is undoubtedly touching, and is emotionally outstanding; there is also a touch of humor to add to the mixture. Grade: B+

Na Wewe: Channeling Hotel Rwanda , director Ivan Goldsch mid t's short fil m places us in Africa in the midst of a civil war. The short follows a bus of seemingly unrelated people who are stopped by African rebels. Na Wewe's entirety focuses on the rebels sorting out the Hutus and the Tutsis. With practically no character development, it is ultimately difficult to engage in any pathos whatsoever. Goldschmidt is essentially giving an eye-opener to this ong oing conflict, but the lack of character connection loses much of its purpose. Its ending involving a "U2 song" does not quite help it either. Grade: C


God of Love: The stand out film of the live action category is the romantic comedy directed by Luke Matheny. Lounge singer Raymond Goodfellow desperately tries to woo the drummer of his band, who does not return his infatuation. With a prayer to the gods, he is given magical darts that serve the same purpose as "Cupid's arrows." God Of Love is a witty romantic comedy that is obviously a throwback to Woody Allen films from the 1980s. With the help of its clever concept, the humorous script directs it away from its potential clichés. God of Love has a mainstream appeal while also maintaining an art-house style, which makes the film my personal favorite of all the nominees. Grade: A

The Crush: Michael Creagh's short about an 8-year-old's crush on his teacher is a mixture of overly sweet comedy and dark drama. The Crush is sweet and often humorous; but that is basically that only aspect the film has to offer. Grade: B-
½ February 6, 2012
Very up and down, just like last year. Let's break it down one at a time.

The Confession I hated. It was too long, the kid actors were not good, it took itself much too seriously, the dialogue was sub-par, the plot itself was melodramatic, every shot lingered beyond its welcome, etc. etc. etc.

Wish 143 was well-balanced in its humor and sadness. The acting was great, and the script was inventive. The film presented its audience with a fresh, new problem to be overcome, and although it collapses ever so slightly at the end under the weight of its ambition, it nevertheless leaves us both smiling and sympathizing. Well done in the time allotted.

La Wewe, if I have that correct, eventually made it known that it wasn't going to lead us anywhere. And the ending was incredibly cheesy. After it was over I sort of felt like I'd wasted 15 minutes.

The Crush had its funny moments, but again the kid actor failed, for me, and the screenplay was a little too simplistic and uninteresting. The feel of the film was amateurish, and there was melodramatic, poor cinematography scattered throughout. Overall, not a success for me.

The God of Love was smart, brisk, and hilarious. The acting was terrific, there was essentially nothing wrong with it.

I'm going to put my money on Wish 143, because last year they surprised me and went with the funny/sad one instead of the smarter, purely funny one. So I'll follow that trend this year and see where that gets me. Here are my individual ratings:

The Confession: 2
Wish 143: 8
La Wewe: 4
The Crush: 5
The God of Love: 8
February 6, 2012
The Confession - Technically a nicely put together film. There is a quality story in here somewhere but by the end you get annoyed with the film forcing it on ya.

Wish 143 - Its depressing but cancer isn't happy and if anyone makes it seem like that they should rot in Hades for the rest of time. Most of the comedy works and some of the heavier spots aren't too badly handled. Would benefit greatly from a longer run time.

Na Wewe - The worst of the bunch. Truly atrocious. Ham fisted crap. It has nothing to say about that period of time or that section of the world. It wants to manipulate your sympathy of these people, nothing more. The live action shorts always get one of these stories thrown in here that is supposed to prey upon American guilt, joy!

The Crush - Starts off very cute. The little boy is fantastic. Then out of the blue it goes into some unnecessary dark territory. The drastic tone change doesn't work and ruins the short.

God of Love - The hipster vibe is oozing from every pore of its being but it tells the best story, with the most heart and its photographed in fantastic black and white. This was my favorite.
February 6, 2012
Great films. "The Confession" was robbed. "God of Love" was the weakest of the lot, yet won the award. Go figure.
February 6, 2012
The Confession - Technically a nicely put together film. There is a quality story in here somewhere but by the end you get annoyed with the film forcing it on ya.

Wish 143 - Its depressing but cancer isn't happy and if anyone makes it seem like that they should rot in Hades for the rest of time. Most of the comedy works and some of the heavier spots aren't too badly handled. Would benefit greatly from a longer run time.

Na Wewe - The worst of the bunch. Truly atrocious. Ham fisted crap. It has nothing to say about that period of time or that section of the world. It wants to manipulate your sympathy of these people, nothing more. The live action shorts always get one of these stories thrown in here that is supposed to prey upon American guilt, joy!

The Crush - Starts off very cute. The little boy is fantastic. Then out of the blue it goes into some unnecessary dark territory. The drastic tone change doesn't work and ruins the short.

God of Love - The hipster vibe is oozing from every pore of its being but it tells the best story, with the most heart and its photographed in fantastic black and white. This was my favorite.
February 10, 2014
Diverse and interesting. A new experience for me. Difficult to choose.
February 17, 2013
Movie from Afghanistan
½ February 17, 2013
One decent movie...the rest just sucked
½ February 11, 2013
None of them were really good.
½ February 9, 2013
The first three were really good!
February 4, 2013
Always enjoy watching these. I missed last years though. This years batch has one pretty weak entry, (the 4th one about the kids in Afghanistan). But all the others are worth watching. My favorite was the last one, Asad.
February 17, 2012
Each is worth a watch, the best was Tuba Atlantic, followed by Raju, Time Freak, Pentecost and lastly The Shore.
½ March 8, 2012
My favorite one of the bunch was Raju, but all of them were enjoyable to an extent. I thought the one that won the Oscar, The Shore, was one of the weaker ones, even though it features Ciaran Hinds, whom I really like as an actor.
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2012
A pretty good fix of shorts that spanned the range of comedy and drama. Thought Raju was the best but of course Oscar-baity The Shore won the Oscar.
½ February 25, 2012
Significantly less interesting than last year. However, the heartfelt humor of The Shore was realistically pleasing. The quirky, laugh out loud, almost college humor of Time Freak was welcomed though I think not a winning short. I'd give this win to Tuba Atlantic for its seagull bashing comedy, strange relationship, fantasy like ending all included in the theme of death and/or the completion of life, love of family.
February 24, 2012
5 great films. 3 are about 25 minutes long and are better than most of the best picture nominees.
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