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Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Live Action 

Wednesday, Jan 27 2016

In recent years, the Oscar nominations have become less an opportunity to celebrate the films up for awards and more a reason to debate who got snubbed. Those debates are usually justified. Generally avoiding controversy (because they fly well under the radar) are the live-action short films, which tend to be under-seen until a given work is nominated.This is doubly true for the live-action short films, because, let's face it, they ain't cartoons. Veering into cartoonishness in the best way possible is Basil Kahil's Ave Maria, about a bickering Israeli family whose car breaks down on the verge of Shabbos, and just outside a convent where the nuns have taken a vow of silence, so all parties must find ways around their faith's arbitrary rituals. (There is no funnier line in a 2015 short film than "Jews have violated the Virgin!") Also witty but far more heartfelt is Benjamin Cleary's Stutterer, about an eloquent but speech-impaired young man working up the courage to meet his internet girlfriend in real life. And while German veteran Wim Wenders' full-length Every Thing Will Be Fine was a disappointment, up-and-coming director Patrick Vollrath's short Everything Will Be Okay, about a scheming divorcee and his daughter, packs a feature's worth of suspense and pathos into 30 minutes.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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