The 2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action and Animation

By Livia Peterson

The ShortsHD annually present the Oscar Nominated Films – Live Action, Animation, and Documentary in the select cinemas.
 
Attending the short films is sometimes magical. I attended the Live Action and Animation programs at the Landmark Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the moviegoers, including myself clapped during the conclusion of nearly every individual film. The finest cinematic experience; just leave it to the leading independent film exhibitor in the U.S. – Landmark Theatres. Anyway, it is obvious why I love attending movies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is worth the drive, it is worth the time, it is worth advocating up and coming filmmakers, and it is worth providing independent films a chance. Always thank you to Crystal (the Oriental Theatre manager) for providing the awesome film experiences.
 
Live Action
“La Femme et le TGV” (“The Lady and the TGV”) (Switzerland)
The most emotionally charged film out of the five nominees. Elise LaFontaine (the brilliant Jane Birkin) waves the flag while the TGV train passes the home, discovers several letters via the conductor, and briefly establishes the pen pal relationship. Like “Alles Wird Gut” ("Everything Will Be Okay") last year, I was on the verge of tears – wishing this was a feature film. The memorable line (paraphrased): “I finally sent the internet.” A
 
“Timecode” (Spain)
Poignant and hysterical, the security guards Luna and Diego (Lali Ayguadé and Nicholas Ricchini) dance during the respective shifts. The workplace environment allows resonance in the least expected way. A-
 
“Sing” (“Mindenki”) (Hungary)
Restrained yet irresistible tunes, the choir director Miss. Erika (Zsófia Szamosi) instructs several students to mime the songs to win the national choir competition. The rapid conclusion is too quick and yet, damn hilarious. B
 
“Silent Nights” (Denmark)
Relevant yet lacks emotional depth, Inger (Malene Beltoft Olsen) is romantically involved with the illegal immigrant Kwame. Powerful here and there and yes, this particular film required to be a feature film to be able to connect to the narrative and the characters. Frequently one dimensional yearning to be something gratifying to the audience. B
 
“Ennemis Interieurs” (“Enemies Within”) (France)
No one can argue that French films are beautiful – pure – cinematic bliss. Maybe it’s just the language – and yet, “Ennemis Interieurs” taps into the natural customs interrogation. The French-Algerian man is interrogated, regarding the French citizenship and the terrorism – the past haunts him. Nonetheless, the short film is detached to the audience – allowing you to feel nothing. Attempt to resonate with the protagonist and it’s extremely difficult that you’re exhausted during the conclusion. The feature film might’ve improved the nuisance – highly unlikely, regardless. Still, “Ennemis Interieurs” appears to boast the enemy within without noticing. B-

Animation
“Pearl” (USA)
Beautiful, resonant, heartwarming, and salutes the dreamers – the father and the daughter transverse inside the hatchback and chasing the dreams. Do I need to say more? Simple as this – my favorite of the animated short nominees. A
 
“Blind Vaysha” (Canada)
The girl was born with one eye able to see the past and the other eye able to see the future – blind to the present. This wonderful short film is able awkwardly tap into the current political climate – we will never forget the past and we do not know what the future holds, but we attempt to see the future day by day – enduring the present. “Vaysha” is brief to the point where I yearned to see the feature film. So much is at stake here and yet, director Theodore Ushev settled to narrate the essential narrative via a short film. Simply grew on me and nearly love it. A-
 
“Piper” (USA)
The sandpiper searches for the food, nearby the shoreline. Pixar Animation is always brilliant, regardless of the film. “Piper” is cute yet the simple narrative is just too effortless, allowing you to repeatedly shrug. B
 
“Borrowed Time” (USA)
The elderly sheriff returns to the remains of the accident – attempting to forget the past, particularly the event. The precious time is beloved by all; however, we must try to keep the past in the past and demons sometimes never leave us. “Borrowed Time” acknowledges the past always remains with us, regardless. Extremely quiet in its execution and subpar animation; although, the core is the stirring narrative. B-
 
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (Canada and the United Kingdom)
The nameless best friend chronicles the narrative via his perspective. Techno is a disturbed man and obliged to quit drinking and smoking to be able to receive the liver transplant in China. The final short film is the soulless character study – Techno is difficult to like, let alone feel sorry, regarding his condition. The inferior yet experimental screenplay fails to resonate. I respect the attempt – but not even resorting to the feature film would’ve rescued the deadpan Techno. “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” demonstrates avant-garde filmmaking at the lowest point here. Thank goodness for the short film. C+

Paterson (2016)

Fifty Shades Darker (2017)