A Guide to Filling Out Your Oscar Ballot: Predictions in Every Category

02/28/2014 9:00 AM |

just before losing everything oscars short film french

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Cave Digger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Will Win: Perusing the synopses, The Lady in Number 6 is about music AND it’s about a Holocaust survivor. So… that, obviously.
Should Win: Beats me.
Missing: No clue.

LIVE ACTION SHORT’
That Wasn’t Me
Just Before Losing Everything
Helium
Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
The Voorman Problem

Will Win: My guess is that the maudlin sentiment of Helium, about a dying child and a magical fantasy land, will prevail, despite it not being about those things with any real coherence, style, or workable point of view.
Should Win: Just Before Losing Everything, a French film about a family getting ready to leave town, is the most accomplished of this bunch. Strangely, the second-best short, Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?, is also about a family pulling it together, albeit in a farcical context.
Missing: Based on the overall quality of the live action shorts I’ve seen in the past few years, either the Academy is overlooking some great stuff, or coming close to scraping the barrel. Helium is pretty terrible, but I understand why voters would go for it. The Voorman Problem, though: no earthly idea what voters saw in this limply cheesy one-joke number, unless what they saw was Martin Freeman, in which case, ok, fair enough. Martin Freeman is great.

ANIMATED SHORT
Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Possessions
Room on the Broom

Will Win: I’m guessing Horse! will make it a Disney sweep.
Should Win: It’s hard to argue with the pure delight of the Disney cartoon. Feral is lovely but kind of fizzles out at the end, while Room on the Broom is sweet, but less than concise at TV-special length.
Missing: Nominee Mr. Hublot, meanwhile, is animator wankery: it builds a cool-looking robot environment and some robotic people and creatures, but feels story-light even (maybe especially) for something that runs less than 15 minutes. The nationally distributed animated shorts program showcasing the five nominees and three additional cartoons includes the shorter, weirder, funnier A la Francaise, which you can also watch online. It should’ve taken Hublot‘s place.