2012 Oscar Shorts: Live Action & Animated (2012)
Critic Reviews for 2012 Oscar Shorts: Live Action & Animated
If you really want to impress on Oscar night, you'll have to acquaint yourself with the short films, too.
This year's nominees - a stronger batch than last year's - offer thought-provoking contrasts in storytelling and style.
If some of these shorts are stronger than others, there are no lemons among them, and a half-dozen are truly memorable.
All of these Oscar-worthy shorts are intended for big-screen viewing, where the feast of creativity can fully be appreciated.
Temper your expectations, filmgoers. The 2012 Oscars shorts are not a dazzling collection.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore [was]hands down the best short I saw in any of the three categories.
Audience Reviews for 2012 Oscar Shorts: Live Action & Animated
I'm lucky to live in an area where they make these available in theaters every year. I went in 2011 and enjoyed it so much, I was excited to go again. This year the selection is much stronger. All of the films have reason to win. The selection begins with the adorable comedy of "The Pentecost," a story of an altar boy forced to conform to the straight-laced duties of an altar boy while wanting to spend all his free time daydreaming about futbol. The performances are precious with an outrageous ending. Next, the mood changes tremendously with the edge-of-your-seat drama about a German couple wanting to adopt a young Indian boy. "Raju" is a disturbing tale of couples desperately wanting to fill the void in their marriage with the addition of children by quickly seeking services out of the country where nefarious groups are all-too-willing to provide kidnapped children under the guise of giving them a better life. In the meantime, there are parents searching for Raju. What is more important? The good life these German parents can provide or the rights of the parents keeping this child in extreme poverty? The question is a dilemma for the male protagonist as he struggles with wanting to make his wife happy and doing what is right. Next, "The Shore," my personal favorite and pick for Oscar gold, is a very professionally executed film about a man returning to his homeland in Northern Ireland to confront his past with the woman he left behind and his best friend, whom he wronged and with whom his jilted lover ended up. It's funny, full of perspective and the performances are top notch for such a low budget film. "Time Freak," the only US entry, is cute, but very weak compared to the rest of the selections. Honestly, I think my son at 16 could have done this film about a man who builds a time machine and, instead of going back to ancient Rome, his dream, he can't get past correcting some of the basic everyday flaws I his life, like conversations with girls and dry cleaning vendors. And finally, the most unique film is "Tuba Atlantic," from Norway. It's the quirky story of an old man going through the five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance after finding out he's about to die. He does it with the help of his Angel of Death, which has to be seen to understand the humor. The protagonist and his brother haven't spoken in 30 years since the brother moved to America. Throughout the story, the old man tries to get this enormous Dr Suessian tuba to play so that his brother in America can hear it before he dies. All of the films were great this year, but my favorite was "The Shore."
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