2017 Oscar Nominees for Short Film (Live Action)
1. “Sing (Mindenki)” was my choice to win Best Live Action Short (and it did!) This Hungarian short tells the story of a girl that moves to a new school and tries to fit in by joining their award-winning choir. In the music classroom, she encounters a seemingly wonderful choir director but we quickly see the director’s true colors. The story is punctuated by quality performances of two-part choral songs that will put a smile on your face. The script is composed of simple dialogue but the impressive acting performances of Dorka Gáspárfalvi and Dorottya Hais help to develop several layers of emotions throughout the film’s short 25-minute runtime. As a choir director, the final scene is my worst nightmare. I’d recommend this short to anyone!
2. “Ennemis intérieurs (Enemies Within)” offers the best acting performance of this years’ shorts. The small cast (mainly featuring two men in a series of interviews) use their dialogue to create an impressive intensity that carries the film from start to finish. There is no action in this short. It is pure acting and intrigue. It also captures a unique snapshot of France’s conflicts with their colonies.
3. “Silent Nights” tackles the difficulties faced by the homeless in Denmark. The story has several interesting themes including an illegal immigrant seeking work in a new country and a homeless shelter volunteer that falls in love with a resident. The acting is excellent and the story is well-developed, though this is the only nominated short with inappropriate content. Once you start watching this one, you’ll have to keep watching to find out what happens next!
4. “La femme et le TGV (The Railroad Lady)” may have been my favorite short of the year. It is a testament to the quality of this year’s nominees (minus “Timecode”) since I enjoyed it so much but still have to rank it fourth in quality. This short is based on the true story of a widow who lived beside the train tracks and waved a Swiss flag at the passing trains each day. The story grows interesting when she is noticed by a daily passenger who begins a correspondence with her by throwing letters out of the train window to her. The story is quirky and you can’t help but love the main character!
5. “Timecode (El corredor)” was my least favorite short. There isn’t really a story as much as a series of vignettes of two random dancing characters thrown into a setting unrelated to dance. The film is totally unique and I kind of get what they were going for but at the same time, why did they go for it?