Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oscar Nominated Shorts 2010 (Rhoades)

“Oscar Shorts” Offer Brief Pleasures
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Every year about this time I enter an Oscar pool with a group of movie-buff friends. And I do darn good on my predictions of Best Picture, Best Actor, the big awards. But I lose when it comes to those lesser categories like short subjects – most of which the general movie-going public has never had the chance to see.

I suspect you have the same problem. Isn’t the winner of Best Foreign Language Film often the one that never played your local theaters?

Well, good news on the short subject front. This year’s nominations have been gathered into one showing, promoted under the group title of “Oscar Shorts 2010.” And these gems are currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.

Even if you’re not interested in the Academy Awards, you’ll find these to be entertaining in and of themselves.

There are two selections: Animation and Live Action.

During my recent travels I caught the animation collection, a bit of whimsy that’s perfect for a short attention span like mine.

“French Roast” is the 8-minute story of a man who cannot pay his bistro tab, a mini-drama involving police, beggars, waiters, and an elderly matron.

That’s followed by one of my favorites, “The Lady and the Reaper,” a delightful battle between the Grim Reaper and a doctor determined to save a little old lady at all costs. I found myself rooting for the Reaper.

The highlight of “Oscar Shorts 2010” was a 30-minute Claymation starring Wallace and Gromit. Called “A Matter of Loaf and Death,” it tells of a Bake-Lite lady who is killing off bakers. And, of course, Wallace and his dog Gromit run a bakery offering “Dough to Door Delivery.”

“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” is a terrifying fairytale in granny’s telling.

And Pixar steps in with a computer-animated skit about a stork who delivers baby crocodiles and porcupines and electric eels … at his own peril.

The end piece called “Logorama” is a testament to the intellectual properties that surround our lives, offering up a brief story about two Michelin Men cops chasing a Ronald McDonald villain.

You pick the winner. I don’t have time. Life (like these films) is too short.
[from Solares Hill]

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