Short films are great for people like me, people with varying attention spans. Even better, a collection of them on one reel to watch in one sitting. While anyone can watch the Oscar nominated shorts on iTunes or Amazon, I rather like catching these in theatre – big screen, more detail.
I saw both collections, live and animated. I liked all of the live nominees, however I didn’t love any one in particular. If I had to pick the winner it would be Aquel No Era Yo simply because the story is extremely dramatic with a sledgehammer ending delivered by simply and quietly laying its cards on the table.
However, my personal favourite was Helium. It was a mixed-bag of emotions as an eccentric orderly tried to comfort a dying boy with stories of a make-believe, Heaven-alternative world he called Helium. While the film tried honestly to balance out obvious heart-string plucking with quirky humour, in the end it was simply skewed toward sentimentality – nothing wrong with that. Technically, visuals of the bubble and balloon filled world of Helium were simple, which they should have been, in keeping with a child’s imagination working on words from an adult, however they were also beautiful and creative.
From the animated lot, the winner will likely be Get A Horse. It was a technically fascinating blend of an original Mickey Mouse episode with the same characters portrayed by modern animation. The characters wandered back and forth from the two animated worlds seamlessly in a clever extension of the original episode.
However, I liked Mr. Hublot. The animation technique was fascinating and detailed, creating a bizarre steam punk world. Mr. Hublot himself was an odd sort; isolated, suffering from OCD and living a life both overly metered and overly mechanical. That is until a pet robot dog wanders into his life. There was good combination of uplifting sentiment and humor which communicated perfectly without dialogue.