The 84th Academy Awards is almost here! Leading up to the event, we’re going to put all the hours we spent watching these films to good use by giving our thoughts on all the categories, big and small. We may not be experts on everything, but I daresay that’s never stopped anyone from blogging before. On the (very remote chance) you disagree with us or the (much more likely chance) you want to applaud our picks, please chime in below.

Short Film (Live Action)

The nominees are:

  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic


I quite enjoyed the live action shorts this year.  Perhaps correlated, the shorts are the one place where Oscar seems to be OK with comedy on a regular basis.  Wasn’t really thrilled with any of their endings – most seemed to just fizzle out, but overall they were pretty entertaining.

Raju feels like the filmmakers started production, filming scenes sequentially, only to realize they’d run out of money halfway through filming.  The film eventually finds its way to a point three-quarters of the way in, in the manner of a Meaningful ethical dilemma, only to “resolve” a half-beat later just as soon as the characters finally start to get interesting.

It is a well-known fact that Scandinavians are weird, and Tuba Atlantic just provides more evidence.  It has a handful of very funny moments: anything with the seagulls (in particular the washing machine, but really all of them), when the girl shows up, the way they say “tuba”.  The meat of the short didn’t really connect with me, though.

I’m in the tank for Ciaran Hinds, so I was happy to see him show up in The Shore.  I think there was definitely an interesting short in there, but the setup wasn’t quite worth the payoff.  Which, to be fair, is sorta the point.  Fun fact: the director of photography also lensed Albert Nobbs and Winter’s Bone.

Pentecost is about 50% perfection.  The opening was OK, nothing special.  But the central conceit was simply fantastic.  It was a brilliant idea executed nearly flawlessly.  But the ending, ugh.  Other people in the audience seemed to love it, which just made me dislike it that much more.  To me, it just sorta comes out of nowhere and feels out of place.  Still, I’d recommend the short to pretty much everyone.

Time Freak was hilarious.  When Adam and I were discussing the shorts, I think we spent a solid minute just laughing at various jokes and bits from the short.  It does have a certain student film feel to it, but I think that may only enhance the experience.  It does everything so well you almost have to wonder if the filmmakers were like the main character, going back in time over and over just to things exactly right.


Time Freak