Saturday, March 13, 2021

Oscar Predictions: Best Live Action Short

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Monday, March 15th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in all categories.

Last year’s nominees: Brotherhood, Nefta Football Club, The Neighbor’s Window, Saria, A Sister

There are ten finalists in this category, and I had the opportunity to screen eight of them. Therefore, I’ll be making my predictions with short summaries and reviews of the one I’ve seen and watching either of the other two that I haven’t after nominations are announced if they make the cut. 

Bittu (B-)
Two young girls in India have a disagreement at school and things quickly turn more serious. This film features strong performances from its child actors but exemplifies a miserable and depressing focus all too typical of this category. Watch it now on Vimeo.

Da Yie (B)
Two children in Ghana are offered a ride by an adult and end up experiencing a different side of life than they’re previously known. This film also features excellent performances from its actors and is weakened slightly from a lack of firm direction in its narrative. Watch it on VOD on Vimeo.

Feeling Through (B+)
A man struggling to figure out where he will sleep that night is compelled to help another man he sees on a street corner who is both deaf and blind, forging an unexpected relationship between the two of them. This short is endearing and enjoyable with two rich characters at its center. Watch it now on YouTube via Omeleto.

The Human Voice (B+)
This one-woman show features the terrific Tilda Swinton, who speaks and stares at the camera as she works through the stages of grief and acceptance related to the seemingly inevitable departure of her ex-lover. It’s also Pedro Almodovar’s English-language debut, and it’s a visually stunning and involving experience. It's now playing in theaters from Sony Pictures Classics.

The Kicksled Choir (B+)
A young boy in Norway wants desperately to join a choir that travels on sleds and raises money for refugee communities while his father deals with his own anger issues towards its members. It’s an engaging and rewarding journey. Watch a trailer on Vimeo.

The Letter Room (B+)
Oscar Isaac stars as a prison guard put in charge of reading letters to inmates who takes a special interest in one correspondent. Its protagonist is lonely and isolated, and the connection he makes with someone through the words that she writes feels dynamic and energizing. Watch in on Topic.

The Present (B+)
A Palestinian man crosses into Israel with his young daughter to purchase a new refrigerator as a gift for his wife, a simple task that becomes a much more complicated and difficult ordeal. Its main characters are sympathetic, and though this story is strongly tied to its geopolitical setting, there is something universal and relatable to it. Watch a trailer on YouTube.

White Eye (B+)
An Israeli man finds his stolen bike outside of a restaurant and tries to get the police to intervene, which threatens the livelihood of the undocumented immigrant he believes has stolen it. This story is involving and complex, not set on portraying the situation as black-and-white but exploring it on a deeper level. Watch a trailer on YouTube.

I haven’t had the chance to watch Two Distant Strangers and The Van (rentable on Vimeo), the two remaining finalists. Based on what I’ve seen, here are my best guesses.

Predicted nominees: Da Yie, The Human Voice, The Kicksled Choir, The Letter Room, The Present

Forecasted winner: I believe The Human Voice will win here.

No comments: