Sunday, June 23, 2024

Chasing the Gold: Best Live-Action Short Nominees Analysis (2021 Oscars)

Don’t short-change the live-action short film category. I know we all like to go on about the glorious full-length feature films, which definitely garner nominations, but what about live-action? Much like a short story, these films have to get straight to the heart of the plot and resolve it within mere minutes. All but one of this year’s nominees deal with authority/police officials in some capacity. But while the stories all take on similar subject matter, they creatively differ in their voices. 

Feeling Through short film

Feeling Through

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’ll be left crying after this film fades to black. Feeling Through examines a connection like no other when a teenager, Tareek, with nowhere to go, and a deafblind man trying to get home, meet one late evening. Tareek is first burdened with the task but soon looks within as he realizes something about his situation. Feeling Through will, to put it so cliché, tug at your heartstrings. It’s poetically enriched with such humility from our characters and communicates the value of compassion when that communication is severely limited. 

The Letter Room | 2020 Tribeca Film Festival | Tribeca

The Letter Room 

The longest film out of the nominees, The Letter Room breaks up the monotony of the always thriller or suspenseful take on the typical prison film. It focuses on Richard a sweet correctional officer — not one you’d likely find in that world — as he is assigned to open up the prisoners’ incoming mail. Director Elvira Lind, whose work is mostly done within documentary genre, does a beautiful job at examining the characters throughout the film, while also highlighting a number of different emotions. There’s so much more Lind could have done with the material she has created. I’d love to see her delve into the realm of fiction with her work or even extend The Letter Room into a feature-length film. 

Oscar-nominated Palestinian film 'The Present' debuts on Netflix | Arab News

The Present 

The simple task of getting one’s wife a refrigerator as an anniversary present should not leave one with such a sour taste in their mouth. And yet, that’s what The Present has come to show us. In a brilliant illustration of segregation on roads of the Middle East, we find a father and daughter carrying on with their day as they venture from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. The director, Farah Nabulsi, paints but a mere 25-minute snapshot of the reality that goes on in those countries. The film continues to press the audience as we ask ourselves: how far are we willing to go before we break?

2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live Action' Review - Variety

Two Distant Strangers

This pivotal story may play on the gimmicky “Groundhog Day-esque” theme, but don’t let that deter you from watching it. Two Distance Strangers is integral to our current state of affairs as it tells the story of Carter, who wakes up, day after day, only to be murdered by the same police officer again and again. Two Distant Strangers is a creative must-see film that provides a vivid look at what is happening to innocent people on the streets of our cities. 

The Story Behind Israeli Live Action Short Oscar Contender 'White Eye' -  Variety

White Eye

White Eye was shot on an extremely low budget and with one take as director Tomer Sushan wrote the screenplay based on an incident that he personally experienced. When an Israeli man, Omer, is scouring the streets looking for his stolen bike, he finds it chained outside of a business. Omer calls the police and begins to question the man who he believes stole the bike. White Eye is an unexpected film examining the entanglements of pride, forgiveness, and cultural biases, in a situation when culminating events may not even give us a moment to catch our breath.

Diddy's Oscar-Nominated 'Two Distant Strangers' Starring Joey Badass is  Heading to Netflix

Who Will Win?

The favorite to win is Two Distant Strangers. It deals so much with real-world events that the Oscar voters find familiar  — as sad as that may be. 

Oscar Isaac's Mad Gene Media To Release 'The Letter Room' (EXCLUSIVE) -  Variety

Who Do I Want to Win?

My personal favorite of the bunch is The Letter Room. I love Elvira Lind’s filmmaking; I want to see where she can go as a feature-length, fiction, filmmaker.

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