The MCC 2020 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Short Film Revue

Nefta Football Club!

From Nefta Football Club, following in the footsteps of Francis the Talking Mule and Disney’s Gus.

Each year since 2009* my wife Anne and I have paid a visit to Keystone Art Cinema, the only fully dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis (for now), to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not.

(* Sadly, Anne missed last year’s appointment, but she returned this year and didn’t seem to regret it.)

As it happens, this year’s live-action lineup is the strongest I’ve seen in years, with nary a clunker or a repulsive moment of graphic sadism among them. (Some years have been better than others in that respect.) And now, we present our ranking of this year’s five nominees from cutest to most heart-rending:

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The MCC 2019 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Short Film Revue

Skin!

When Rated-M video games seem hokey after Daddy’s taught you how to use a sniper rifle.

Each year since 2009 my wife Anne and I have paid a visit to Keystone Art Cinema, the only fully dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not.

Unfortunately a change in circumstances and an issue of lousy showtimes led to us shaking up our tradition this year. We both attended a showing of the Best Animated Short Film nominees, but Anne missed out on the Best Live-Action Short Film nominees. My son tagged along in her place and share in what he later described as “a day-ruining experience”. Not that the shorts were awful per se, but the nominating committee and/or this year’s filmmakers went super dark. They weren’t quite as appalling as past incidents when Live-Action Short Film nominees have sprung an occasional grueling rape scene on us, but one in particular is more emotionally scarring than any of this year’s eight Best Picture nominees. Fair warning to anyone who decides to casually check these out when they’re available online February 19th.

And now, we present our ranking of this year’s five nominees, four of which center on the subject of children killing or being killed. Um, enjoy?

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The MCC 2017 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Short Film Revue

The Eleven O'Clock!

Remember: I’m here to treat you!

Each year since 2009 my wife Anne and I have paid a visit to Keystone Art Cinema, the only fully dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not. We like to do both sets as a one-day double-feature date, which gives us time between showings to look around the fashion mall connected to the theater, gawk at clothing, grab snacks, and buy a new piece of cookware from Crate & Barrel.

First up: my rankings of this year’s five Live-Action Short Film nominees, from pretty-great to extra-greatest. Unlike some years, we didn’t grumble or nitpick a single nominee among the quintet. These may or may not be uploaded to your usual streaming services at the moment, but their availability should widen in the near future. Links are provided to official sites where available if you’re interested in more info. Enjoy where possible!

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The MCC 2016 Oscar-Nominated Short Film Revue

Piper!

Many of you may recognize one of the nominees from last summer…

Each year since 2009 my wife and I have paid a visit to Keystone Art Cinema, the only dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not. We like to do both sets as a one-day double-feature date, which gives us time between showings to look around the fashion mall connected to the theater and gawk at clothing and cookware with triple-digit prices we could never conscionably pay.

First up: my rankings of this year’s five Animated Short Film nominees, from not-bad to peachiest. They’re probably available on iTunes or other streaming services, but I honestly haven’t checked. Links are provided to official sites where available if you’re interested in more info. Enjoy where possible!

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2015 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Short Films: Best to Not-Best

Alles Wird Gut.

Local Dad Misreads Calendar, Mistakenly Celebrates “Take Your Daughter Day”

Each year since 2009 my wife and I have paid a visit to Keystone Art Cinema, the only dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not. Usually we do both sets as a one-day double-feature date, but a non-negotiable scheduling conflict cut into our window of opportunity. We saw the live-action set this week, with hopes to catch the animated shorts next weekend.

This was the first time in years that neither Anne nor I hated any of the five live-action contenders. Oddly, this was also the first year in some time that not a single nominee featured any Hollywood actors we recognized. (I uncovered a few low-level ones after the fact, but they were strangers to us.) We don’t require familiar faces to enjoy a given work, but it’s nifty to have a lineup 100% guaranteed not to have slid in on marquee recognition alone. Presented below are my rankings of this year’s five Live-Action Short Film nominees, from the most Outstanding to the most Needs Improvement, as my old report cards used to label. They’re probably available on iTunes or other streaming services, but I honestly haven’t checked. Links are provided to the official sites if you’re interested in more info. Enjoy where possible!

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2014 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts: From Best to Not-Best

The Phone Call!

Sally Hawkins standing by in “The Phone Call”.

Each year since 2009 my wife and I have made a day-long date of visiting Keystone Art Cinema, the only dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not. To be honest, this year’s live-action contenders were not my favorite lineup.

Presented below are my rankings of this year’s five Live-Action Short Film nominees, from the most effective to the most not-so-much. One or more of these were formerly streaming online for free, then yanked once they were nominated. It’s my understanding they’re available on iTunes or other such services. Links are provided to the official sites or the next most relevant thing I could locate if you’re interested in more info. Enjoy where possible!

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2013 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts: a Brief Rundown

Martin Freeman, The Voorman Problem

Martin Freeman as a different sort of doctor in “The Voorman Problem”.

Each year since 2009 my wife and I have made a day-long date of visiting Keystone Art Cinema, the only dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not.

Presented below are my thoughts on this year’s five Live-Action Short Film nominees. Shorts International, which masterminds these theatrical releases, strongly discourages the nominated filmmakers from posting their works online for free, but it’s my understanding they’re available on iTunes, Amazon, and/or Video On Demand. If you live in a large city where they’re playing in theaters, this year you’re treated to bookend interviews with various Oscar-nominated creators extolling the virtues of short-form over longform, with pro advice from the likes of Matthew Modine, writer/director/actor Shawn Christensen (the 2013 winner for “Curfew”), and 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen.

Enjoy where possible!

And the nominees are…

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