Review of “2016 Oscar-Nominated Short Films,” separate programs of animated and live-action shorts that offer an array of stories and styles. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
As always, a piece of this year’s Oscar action belongs to short-film nominees.
The half-hour-or-less works are playing in separate programs at the Guild 45th: one for animation (including some extra films) and the other live-action. Check the theater schedule for more information at landmarktheatres.com.
Here’s an overview:
Movie Review ★★★
‘2016 Oscar Nominated Short Films’: animation (86 minutes) and live-action nominees (107 minutes). Not rated; parental guidance suggested for live-action shorts and “Prologue” in the animated program. Various languages (live action only), with English subtitles. Guild 45th.
“Sanjay’s Super Team”: This autobiographical short by Pixar artist Sanjay Patel is the touching story of a first-generation Indian-American boy who reconciles his love for Western superhero lore with Hindu traditions.
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“World of Tomorrow”: This Sundance Film Festival “Best of Fest” prizewinner is a triumph. A little girl, Emily, is visited by her grown granddaughter from the distant future and given a tour of her descendant’s absurd but heartbreaking life.
“Bear Story”: From Chile comes this heartbreaker about an old bear who, for a coin, lets passers-by watch a mechanical diorama that depicts his tragic life.
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”: Two unusually close cosmonauts endure rigorous training in everything but loss. Charming and poignant.
“Prologue”: Veteran animator Richard Williams (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit”) impressively re-creates a gruesome fight from a 2,400-year-old Greek war. (Note: Due to graphic violence, “Prologue” will play last and be preceded by a “Parental Guidance” warning.)
“Ave Maria”: Israeli settlers in the West Bank have a car mishap outside a convent full of silent nuns. Cute but empty.
“Shok”: Two Albanian boys try to profit from Serbian occupation in Kosovo, only to face the horror of ethnic cleansing.
“Everything Will Be Okay”: A divorced father, taking his young daughter for a weekend, tries to abscond with her in this soapy melodrama from Germany.
“Stutterer”: A touching dramedy about a stuttering typographer who dreads meeting the woman with whom he has had an online relationship for months.
“Day One”: A grim drama about an Afghan-American woman who joins the U.S. military as an interpreter and faces a stunning crisis on her first mission.