Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts Reviews

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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 clichťs. 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
GOod set of flicks. The Confession should be made into a full length film. God of Love is cute & funny & well done.
February 6, 2012
I thought this year's films were darker than last year's selections. I liked Wish 143 and God of Love the best.
February 6, 2012
All of these short films are great! Most of them have more depth in 25 minutes than Hollywood's feature films. God of Love was terrific; fun.
½ February 6, 2012
The one that one, "God of Love" was by far my least favorite of the bunch, with "The Crush" from Ireland and "The Confession" being my favorites.
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
½ February 6, 2012
Some of the Oscar nominated Live Action films are pretty good, some are just meh. Worth seeing for future filmmaking talent but don't go out of your way.
½ February 6, 2012
Good, but heavy handed.
February 6, 2012
Fabulous! The only one I didn't like was The Crush. The other 4 were so good that I can't really pick a favorite.
February 6, 2012
Hard to choose the best this year they were all so good!
½ February 6, 2012
The Confession - felt like I'd seen it before. Not a good resolution to the story.

Wish 143 - Life-affirming tale that deals with the important aspects of one's life.

Na Wewe - The most heartwarming, intelligent short. A full mini-movie with lots of little joys.

The Crush - Very funny and levels the playing field between student and jerk.

God of Love - Artsy and a joy to watch.
½ February 6, 2012
Watched this on VOD..The Confession is a depressing tale about a young boy seeking forgiveness for some horrific acts... its depressing and a bit sad...
Wish 143 is a really depressing film about a young man with cancer whose wish is to lose his virginity before he dies... not as interesting as it sounds.
Na Wewe is just pointless and borring.The Crush is an amusing tale about a child with a crush on his teacher who challenges her fiance to a duel.
And God of Love is probably the best of the lot as a young slacker litteraly aquired cupids arrows and tries to makea girl love him...Really though.. are these really the best short films of the year? A depressing lot for the most part.
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‚(TM)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‚(TM)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‚(TM)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 clich√ (C)s. 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‚(TM)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-
February 6, 2012
Good stuff! I didn't adore these 5 live action shorts as much as I did the animated shorts... but overall... I laughed, I cried and I fretted, so needless to say, my attention was captured. My fav of these 5 would have to be "The Confession," which starts out all adorable and ends in the most tragic of ways... As I said with the animated shorts, if you have the chance to see these Oscar nominees... do! (The Tivoli in St. Louis)
½ February 6, 2012
There aren't a lot of opportunities to see live action shorts on a big screen so it's a treat to see the annual compilation of Oscar-nominated short films. Unfortunately, I don't think this was the strongest year - or perhaps some of the films suffered by being in proximity to others. One film in particular was on a very serious subject and was very difficult to watch. It was hard to go between that and the lighter ones (although only one was without a darker side). Anyway, worth seeing, particularly for "The Wish" and "God of Love."
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
As they were only going to be in our local theater for one week, on Sunday night, Cam, Sam & I went to see this collection of short films. My favorite was "Wish 143." Sam thought "Confession" was the best. It was arresting. The only one that wasn't heavy was "God of Love." I think that was Cameron's favorite.
½ February 6, 2012
- Confession ****
- Wish 143 ****
- Na Wewe **** 1/2
- The Crush ****
- God of Love *** 1/2
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