2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Part 2 of 2)

For the past decade, ShortsHD has made all three of the Oscar-nominated short film programs (animated, live action, documentary) available to audiences around the world.

Live Action

The live-action compilation was released to theaters on February 10th, giving the public the opportunity to see the nominated entries before the Oscar Awards ceremony on February 26th.

In addition to the theatrical release, the nominated live-action and animated shorts will also be accessible online ( iTunes, Amazon Instant Video) and on VOD/Pay-per-view Platforms (AT&T, Comcast, DIRECTV, etc) starting February 21st.

Recently the award for the live-action segment has gone to the more upbeat title in a sea of misery.  The lighthearted touch of last year’s winner Stutterer stood out from the pack. It’s virtually impossible to predict which of these will win this year, but I’ve listed them in order of my own personal preference from best to worst.

Interestingly, unlike in the other short categories (docs and animation), there’s nary a US or UK production in the bunch.

 

Timecode
SPAIN/15MINS/2016
Director: Juanjo Giménez Peñ
 photo Timecode_zpsg6w8x9eb.jpg
Luna and Diego are car-park security guards, working class stiffs stuck in a dull job. A subtle animosity between boss and employee is felt but never explicitly stated. However, the human spirit has a way of making the best of a dreary situation and these two enliven their jobs in the most curious of ways. Not going to explain what happens because it’s these unexpected developments that make this tale so enchanting. A real charmer.

 

Sing (Hungarian: Mindenki)
HUNGARY/25MINS/2016
Director: Kristof Deák
 photo Sing2_zpsq6a8tohv.jpg
Sweet drama about Zsofi, a new girl trying to fit in at school. She’s ecstatic to become a member of the school’s famous choir. Excitement turns to disillusionment, however, when she discovers the inspirational choir director isn’t quite as wonderful as she thought. Crowd-pleasing tale builds to an inspiring conclusion.

 

La Femme et le TGV (English: The Railroad Lady)
SWITZERLAND/30MINS/2016
Director: Timo von Gunten
 photo TGV_zpsmyqxcigf.jpg
Elise Lafontaine waves at the express train that passes her house every day. One day, she discovers a letter that has been thrown from the high-speed rail service in her garden. She starts a promising correspondence with him as she imagines a budding romance with the conductor.

Whimsical fluff offers a restrained performance by English actress (and 70s muse) Jane Birkin. Her aging bakery owner doesn’t quite seem “all there” but nevertheless this optimistic tale has its moments.

 

Ennemis intérieurs (English: Enemies Within)
FRANCE/28MINS/2016
Director: Sélim Aazzazi
 photo ennemis-interieurs_zps44k33jvm.jpeg
The conversation takes place almost entirely inside the claustrophobic room of an immigration office. This two-hander is a nice showcase for actors Hassam Ghancy as the Algerian wishing to become a French citizen and Najib Oudghiri as a focused interrogator. Heavy handed story concerning immigration certainly has its finger on the current political conversion.

 

Silent Nights
DENMARK/30MINS/2016
Director: Aske Bang
 photo SilentNights_zps7aqqejka.jpg
The chronicle starts out as a simple love story between different cultures. Then manages to pile on immigration, racism, poverty, homelessness, alcoholism, romance, adultery and a pregnancy in a scant 30 minutes. This plot has so many ridiculous twists at the end, it’s impossible to care. Initially appealing main characters become unsympathetic. Shame after a promising start.

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8 Responses to “2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Part 2 of 2)”

  1. smilingldsgirl Says:

    Yeah I agree with your take on these except Sing is my favorite but Timecode is really good also. Lady and the TGV was charming. The immigrant stories I didnt love and I found the interview one to be kind of boring and slow. Silent Nights was way too melodramatic with unsympathetic characters as you say. Still I fear it will win because its melodrama about a current issue and so many issues

    • We have nearly identical takes on the live-action series. I would be surprised if Silent Nights won. Everyone I know that has seen these 5 films ranks it dead last. I don’t know anyone who likes it.

      • smilingldsgirl Says:

        That’s good to hear. I dont know anyone who sees the shorts so that was just a wild guess. You are my only friend I have to talk about these with 🙂

  2. Helpful roundup and well written! Mind dropping a follow to http://www.tvandcity.com ? We’re a new site trying to gain some traction.

  3. As usual I missed this year’s live action shorts, but Timecode and Sing both sound really good. Maybe I’ll check them out.

  4. Sing!!!!!! Loved it. I also like the Railroad lady, especially the song in the end.

    • YES! That song was “Booty Swing” by Parov Stelar which liberally stamped the 1938 song “Oriental Swing” by Lil Hardin Armstrong. So now you know.

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