The five nominees for Live-Action Shorts at this year’s Academy Awards are a better bunch than the previous years. Helium is a Danish drama about a dying boy in a hospital. A janitor helps ease the boy’s pain making up stories that heaven is full of balloons. A touching film with beautiful poetic images. Each short is introduced by interviews with filmmakers including actor/director Matthew Modine and 12 years a slave director Steve McQueen. Next is U.K.’s The Voorman problem. New prison psychiatrist meets patient Voorman who says he is God. As proof Voorman proposes he will eliminate Belgium. I can’t tell you anymore without spoiling the fun. Great screenplay and acting by Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander. Intriguing. I have spent one of the most intense half-hour ever in a cinema with Avant que de tout perdre (Just before loosing everything) from france. Done in real-time it is the story of a woman and her children trying to escape a husband she is convinced will kill her. Precise attention to details from first director Xavier Legrand makes this a genuine nail-biter and my favorite of the five films. The fourth short from Spain. In Aquél no era yo (That wasn’t me) two aid workers are abducted by a group of child soldiers and their leader. Violent and disturbing. Finland’s Do I have to take care of everything? (Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa?) is a very funny little 7 minutes film about a family going to a wedding. The house is a mess, they can’t find the gift, high heels breaks, ect. It worked for me! I laughed the whole time. Together those shorts make me recommend this screening.
And the Oscar went to… Helium is a good choice. But Avant que de tout perdre (Just before loosing everything) would have been mine.
Oscar® nominated live action shorts 2013