This year’s shorts have some high-profile films (Pixar) and subject matter (like the basic human rights of women and girls) that all stand a good shot at winning. As these categories, like all Oscar categories now, are open for anyone to vote it’s hard to know if or how many people will see them, skip them on their ballot or just vote for a title they like because it sounds good.
In Animated Short the race is between Matthew Cherry’s Hair Love, the heartwarming story of a Black father and his young daughter as he tries to help manage her daily hair regimen the best way a dad can and Kitbull, the seemingly bleak but ultimately tear-inducing story of a terrified and feral kitty who makes an unlikely friend.
Live Action Short covers languages, countries and content as wide as possible. Brotherhood is the most visually appealing and feels like a fully fleshed out movie (or could be, many shorts are adapted into feature films). The Neighbor’s Window is clever in that it begins as one thing and becomes something quite different by the film’s end.
Documentary Short Subject is always tough because you often have harrowing or brutal stories that sometimes need more time. In the Absence, which details the tragedy of the Korean vessel Sewol is, at 22 minutes, a bit slight for how devastating the event was and that it was enough to have the South Korean president investigated and removed from office. That’s why, at 40+ minutes, the BAFTA-winning Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You’re a Girl) should prevail. Plus, that title alone is going to get votes.
Here are my ranked Final Oscar predictions for Animated Short, Live Action Short and Documentary Short Subject.
|1. Hair Love|
|4. Dcera (Daughter)|
LIVE ACTION SHORT
|1. The Neighbors’ Window|
|4. A Sister|
|5. Nefta Football Club|
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
|1. Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You’re a Girl) – BAFTA|
|2. St. Louis Superman|
|3. In the Absence|
|4. Walk Run Cha-Cha|
|5. Life Overtakes Me|