Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Live Action Short

The nominees:
Aya (B+)
This Israeli short about a woman who picks up a passenger at the airport after holding a sign for his driver is a bit strange but extremely entertaining and intoxicating. It’s the longest of the bunch, at nearly 40 minutes, but it’s also the most accessible. It’s fun to see Ulrich Thomsen of “Banshee” opposite Israeli actress Sarah Adler.
Boogaloo and Graham (B+)
You can’t understand a thing they say, but it’s impossible not to like this endearing story of two young brothers who get chicks as pets and then become so attached to their chickens that they want to be vegetarians, but only when it comes to birds. This one is a real crowd-pleaser.
Butter Lamp (C+)
This Tibetan entry features photographers who have full backdrops in front of which they pose large families and other groups of people. Not much happens over the course of fifteen minutes, and it’s hard to find something resembling a plot
Parvaneh (B)
This story of an Afghani immigrant in the Swiss Alps is a film that gradually becomes more engaging and enticing, especially after it introduces a foil to its main character, a rich girl with a decidedly antiestablishment attitude. Watching the friendship of its characters develop is endearing, even if it includes a few peculiar and unexplained moments.
The Phone Call (B)
This short is particularly sad, featuring Sally Hawkins as a suicide hotline operator who answers a call from Jim Broadbent’s despaired widower. It’s a difficult and emotional story, and one that doesn’t add anything cinematic to a powerful plot.

Previous winners: Helium, Cufrew, The Shore, God of Love, The New Tenants, Toyland, The Mozart of Pickpockets, West Bank Story, Six Shooter
Who should win: I would definitely vote for “Aya” or “Boogaloo and Graham.”
Who will win: It could be either Boogaloo and Graham or “Parvaneh.” I think the former is just too irresistible, but the latter could entice voters who want to honor a multicultural story.

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