The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013: Live Action - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013: Live Action Reviews

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August 14, 2015
What an amazing range of emotions one will experience with these films. Each one so successfully encapsulates true emotion, and shows strange and different lives in stunning fashion. I was extremely moved by these films, especially "Henry" and "Curfew", but honestly all 5 films hold their own and would impress any experienced viewer.
October 9, 2014
A wonderful collection of shorts that, for my third year seeing them, seemed a tad high-budget, but all very enjoyable. Also, there was not a comedic entry, which was unusual. All were dramatic and, frankly, depressing. However, the clear winner to me was "Henry." Not only was it the first short film to make me cry, but the story, acting and the way the film progressed and showed his mental deterioration, symbolically represented in lights turning off and moving from room to room, was just brilliant. It was a heartbreaking film and one of the best shorts I've ever seen. "Buzkashi Boys" was probably the best filmed, though, in the heart of Kabul. However, the story was a bit predictable and forced. The acting was so good, though. The unique "Death of a Shadow" was unlike any short I've seen nominated before, with what seemed to be an astronomical budget for such a short film. It almost seemed unfair. The bottom two for me were "Curfew," which is perhaps unfair too as it reflected what I'm used to in short films, which is low-budget, independent, average acting, and the bottom of the list, "Asad." Sadly, preliminary reports indicate "Asad" is the frontrunner. I hope that isn't the case.
March 11, 2013
Henry made me cry. That's right. A movie made me cry.
½ March 9, 2013
"Death of a Shadow" and "Henry" are not to be missed...
March 3, 2013
Wow, very impressed with the short films in this year's collection of nominees. It's particularly notable that three of them are carried by excellent child actors.

Death of a Shadow (Belgium): An unrecognizable Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) plays a dead soldier given a second chance by the Grim Reaper in exchange for labouring at a peculiar task. Notable for it's beautiful steampunk-esque art direction and quirky concept.

Henri (Canada): Great performances, though the story treads familiar ground in this Alzheimer's case study.

Curfew (USA): Winner Shawn Christensen also co-stars with cutie Fatima Ptacek in this tale of suicide averted. Possibly the most memorable bowling alley scene you will see in a movie for some time.

Buzkashi Boys (Afghanistan): Two young Kabul boys explore their hopes for the future, both fantastical and pragmatic. Stunning cinematography and if you even wanted to see men play polo with a dead goat, this is your film.

Asad (South Africa): This is undoubtedly my favourite of the five. A Somali boy fails to join a pirate gang so tries his hand at fishing, and with the help of an old man catches something surprising! Packs buddy comedy, a tense gun standoff, tender family moments and the best ending of any film I have seen in a while into a lean 18 minutes.
February 27, 2013
These were great... The French film ("Henry") was good, but of course paled in comparison to Haneke's "Amour"; "Death of a Shadow" is engaging and truly original; "Buzkashi Boys" was an important contribution from Afghanistan; and although I thought "Asad" was the best film in this category -- with non-professional actors, all Somali refugees -- and should be seen by everyone, I wasn't disappointed that "Curfew" walked with the award... it was a heartfelt film about family, fucked-up people, and second chances.
February 27, 2013
The Oscar Nominated Short Films
½ February 26, 2013
There were a lot of stinkers this year, but Curfew was easily the best one.
February 24, 2013
I really was touched by "Henry", which made me think about my father. I also enjoyed "Death of a Shadow", and "Curfew".
February 20, 2013
Playing again only this Friday locally in Vegas at select Century Theaters! Always interesting and for $10 you get both Live Action and Animated and prepared for Sunday's Oscars.
February 17, 2013
Beautiful short films. Four of the five were incredible.
February 16, 2013
2013 is the most solid year for live action shorts I've seen so far. This is a must watch for any film enthusiast.
½ February 16, 2013
All of these short films were so good, it's hard to pick which one I liked best
February 15, 2013
A wonderful collection of shorts that, for my third year seeing them, seemed a tad high-budget, but all very enjoyable. Also, there was not a comedic entry, which was unusual. All were dramatic and, frankly, depressing. However, the clear winner to me was "Henry." Not only was it the first short film to make me cry, but the story, acting and the way the film progressed and showed his mental deterioration, symbolically represented in lights turning off and moving from room to room, was just brilliant. It was a heartbreaking film and one of the best shorts I've ever seen. "Buzkashi Boys" was probably the best filmed, though, in the heart of Kabul. However, the story was a bit predictable and forced. The acting was so good, though. The unique "Death of a Shadow" was unlike any short I've seen nominated before, with what seemed to be an astronomical budget for such a short film. It almost seemed unfair. The bottom two for me were "Curfew," which is perhaps unfair too as it reflected what I'm used to in short films, which is low-budget, independent, average acting, and the bottom of the list, "Asad." Sadly, preliminary reports indicate "Asad" is the frontrunner. I hope that isn't the case.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2013
The five Oscar nominated live action shorts from 2012, each about 20 minutes long: a dead soldier works for a shadow collector in a steampunkish afterlife, an elderly composer struggles with his memories, a suicidal drug addict is pressed into watching the daughter of his estranged sister, two Afghani boys hope to grow up to play Buzkashi (a game played on horseback with a dead goat), and a Somali boy decides between becoming a pirate or a fisherman. Most of these films are melancholy dramas, with a little black humor in the USA's "Curfew" and a little magical realism in Belgium's "Death of a Shadow"; "Henry" (the Canadian composer's story) was emotionally devastating and my favorite, but the field is strong enough that almost everyone seems to favor a different one (though oddsmakers have made "Curfew" a huge favorite). A refreshing change of pace from feature films.
February 14, 2013
Loved them, great job this year.
February 14, 2013
A rather mixed bag. CURFEW was excellent, and HENRY was very good, but the others were generally middling. DEATH OF A SHADOW was odd. I think it was a very complex, high-concept telling of a very mundane story. Perhaps something else was going on that I couldn't understand, but my general instinct is to say the emperor has no clothes and move on. ASAD and BUZKASHI BOYS only real appeal is that they are set in Afghanistan and Somalia, two countries most Americans would never otherwise see unless they had a tremendous amount of military equipment at their disposal.
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