Day Sixty-One – Oscar Predictions: Short Categories

2 03 2010

The Short Category is an interesting one. It’s all about the filmmakers of tomorrow and they get to rub shoulders with the stars of today. Pretty sweet deal for them.

The only problem with this category is that the shorts aren’t usually readily available. You’re pretty much guessing who’s going to win, unless you happen to catch them illicitly. That changed this year with Cineplex screening the shorts the day of the Oscars.

Given that, the only shorts I have seen are the animated. The others are educated guesses, based on reviews I’ve read and their subject matter.

Here’s my guesses…

Best Documentary Short
China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Music by Prudence
Rabbit à la Berlin

Boy, did I not enjoy The Last Truck. The documentary focused more on the workers than anything else, so it felt really one-sided. However, given the climate in America and the success of shows like Undercover Boss, I would have to assume this is the image that voters would want to project and voting for this doc is how to do it.

Best Live-Action Short
The Door
Instead of Abracadabra
Kavi
Miracle Fish
The New Tenants

The Door seems to be the favorite based on the subject matter. It’s about the after-effects of the Chernobyl disaster and the effects on the families that were displaced. From what I can see based on the limited images available, it looks as if it’s shot with an experienced eye. Even if the story doesn’t hold up, it’s a technically brilliant film – apparently. The Door is my shot in the dark to win.

Best Animated Short
French Roast

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)
Logorama
Wallace and Gromit; A Matter of Loaf and Death

My full explanation for picking French Roast as the possible winner and reviews for each film are available on this post.

That wasn’t fun.

At least the technical awards, I was able to see and make a somewhat reasonable guess on what could win. Here, I had to do it completely blind (aside from the Animated category) so I was talking out of my ass there. I will see the shorts on the day of the Oscars, so I should be able to make a better guess then, but the damage is done. Those are my guesses.

Tomorrow, something I can make an actual evaluation and guess for – the Music category.





Day Thirty-Nine – Oscar Predictions: Best Short Animated Film

8 02 2010

The weirdest thing about this category is that some of the films came out in 2008. Knowing this, I’m shocked they couldn’t find better nominees. There are a couple of films that I was a fan of, but nothing that really blew me away.

You can make your own mind up, though. I’ve included the links to the shorts under the reviews.

See my prediction to win this category after my reviews below:

French Roast

The first thing that strikes you about ‘French Roast’ is the quality of the animation. The detail is near Pixar quality, while still having a style of its own. Somehow they managed to fit a B-plot into the short run-time, but never get a chance to explore it, so it feels almost useless. You know how it’s going to end as well, so it’s not so much heart-warming as it is predictable. Still, the quality of the production and the ability to convey every emotion with little dialogue make it enjoyable.

Rating: 70

Watch it here!

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty

Granny O’Grimm is probably the world’s worst storyteller, but that’s exactly what makes “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” a fun short film. What starts as a regular bed-time story degrades into a gossip filled tirade of horrors. The differing animation styles make the story just as visually interesting as Granny’s skewed interpretation of the classic fairy tale, while also showing that the true Granny is much scarier than the fictionalized version in her story.

Rating: 85

Watch it here!

The Lady and the Reaper

What starts as a touching moment, where a lonely woman passes away with the solace of knowing she’ll be reunited with her dead husband turns into a silly mess of a battle between the Grim Reaper and a Doctor with his fawning nurses surrounding him. Though it reaches for the comedy aspect of it, the power of the opening scene could have been used to make a comment on the doctors Hippocratic Oath, while still providing laughs. Instead, it’s a giant, messy chase sequence with little plot to share.

Rating: 50

Watch it here!

Logorama

‘Logorama’ relies on its gimmick way too much. Were it not for its use of corporate logos to create the world, no one would watch past the first f-bomb by the Michelin men. It really does feel like film school quality storytelling. Even the logos aren’t used that well. For every good usage of a logo, there are 200 others that are completely irrelevant. Such a missed opportunity to say something interesting about our corporate culture, but I would have settled for entertainment. I got neither.

Rating: 2 (0 Stars)

Watch it here!

Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death

Wallace and Gromit are almost at a disadvantage before I watch any of their films. I expect so much of them, that when I see something like ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’, I get really disappointed. I know they’re capable of so much better. The story here has been done before so many times that even an interpretation by Nick Park’s characters can’t make it that interesting. Still, the animation here is top notch. The chase, battle and morning wake-up sequences are excellent, but I expect better.

Rating: 70 (3.5 Stars)

Watch it here!

My prediction to win it all?

French Roast

The Oscars tend to respect anything that can say everything with no dialogue. Though I had my problems with it, I do think that it deserves the prize. The animation is so detailed and the story, as predictable as it may be, is right up the Oscar’s ally.

I would have chosen Granny O’Grimm, but I don’t think that the two different animation styles are enough to win the voters over.

If I’m wrong, it’ll be because Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death takes it. Their quality is high, as always, and they may overlook the lack of an original story or characters.

Overall, it’s a relatively weak year. I’m hoping something new and exciting will be around for next year. I’m sure the NFB will come up with something.