Oscar nominated Animated Short Film reviews….

With almost a week to go until the 82nd annual Academy Awards, I’m sure most of you film devotees are in the process of finalizing your ballots.  And I’m also sure that for some the  Animated Short and Live Action Short categories tend to be a bit of a road block,  which is completely understandable because most of the general public rarely gets to view these films.

This is where I come in.

Thankfully my city has finally done something right and they’ve brought the nominated Animated and Live Action shorts to town.  So because I’m dying to finish my ballot and I want everyone to complete theirs as well, I decided to write a mini-review of all five movies which you will find down below.  Enjoy, choose wisely and good luck with finishing those ballots.

***all reviews contain spoilers***

French Roast (France, 8 mins)

A nice story about generosity , goodwill and everyday life,  that features a business man, a homeless man and a tired old lady. The 8 minute film takes place in a French cafe, where a high-class businessman enjoys his day with coffee and a newspaper. Moments later he is approached by a beggar, but rudely pays him no mind. Once the beggar leaves the businessman notices his wallet is missing and immediately purchases more coffee to buy more time. Minutes pass and the beggar is back again, only this time he bothers a little old lady at the next table. She happily yet slowly obliges and gives him a dollar from a questionable stack of cash. Then  suddenly out of nowhere the cops arrive; there has been a bank robbery and they stop in to post a picture of the suspect. During this time the little old lady excuses herself to go the restroom, leaving her purse behind,  and the anxious businessman finds it the perfect opportunity to lift a little cash from her purse. Only problem is when he reaches into her bag, he pulls out a mask that looks just like the wanted bank robber. The now inebriated detective misfires his gun, causing the beggar (who’s back)  to trip, revealing all the cash he’s accumulated through the day while the little old lady returns from the bathroom, grabs her purse and leaves, oblivious to it all. But now its closing time and the waiter wants to get paid. The businessman feigns checking his pockets, only to have the bill  covered by the beggar.

The Lady and The Reaper (Spain, 8 min)

A great comedy about an old lady who just wants to meet her maker already. Missing her late husband she is  prepared to die and the Grim Reaper is prepared to take her. Once she is sound asleep the reaper appears in the light, ready to take her inside,  but then a Johnny Bravo-esque doctor who is supposed to be God, pulls her away from the reapers reach, resulting in a hilarious 8 min power struggle between life and death.  The outcome? Her life is saved but she is pissed. She storms out of the heavenly emergency room and ends up offing herself.

A Matter of Loaf & Death (United Kingdom, 30 mins)

The longest out of the bunch, this short starred the famed duo Wallace and Gromit. They’ve gone into business, a bakery in which they deliver fresh bread straight to your door.  Business isn’t all that great and to make matter worse, there is a serial killer on the loose. Not to mention the killers victims have all been bakers. This puts Wallace in an immediate panic but he soon finds comfort in Piella, a former poster child for a local bread company. The romance heats up but Gromit isn’t having any part of it, and snoops around to find her flaw. You see where this going, right? Turns  out Piella is the mass murderer and she’s set the goal of killing 13 bakers to make a baker’s dozen. Wallace is her potential 13th victim but Gromit saves the day and everything is right with the world again. Personally I found this short to be the most boring of the bunch but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (Ireland, 6 min)

An interesting take on the traditional fairytale that we all know and love. Granny O’Grimm tells a bed time story to her petrified granddaughter, a comical version of Sleeping Beauty in which the bad guy is the victim and just ‘misunderstood’, and the ending is something that seems Tarantino inspired. Needless to say the poor kid is even more terrified than before but Granny pays it know mind and wishes her a goodnight. It’s a funny story and the take on it reminded me of a time in high school, when I had to write a defensive closing argument for Iago (Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’), and I painted him as a temporarily insane victim.

Logorama (France, 16 mins)

Hands down the most creative film of the evening. The premise? The city of Los Angeles is made entirely out of logos. The Michelin men are in hot pursuit of dangerous criminal, which just so happens to be Ronald McDonald. Mr. Clean is a gay tour guide at the Los Angeles Zoo. AOL and Bic men pace back and forth down the street. Pringle’s Hot & Spicy guy smacks the backside of the Esso Girl, while the Big Boy kid and  Haribo are cause ruckus on school field trip. Oh  and their teacher….the Foot Locker Guy. I honestly, don’t even know what to say about ‘Logorama’, I’m know there was a consumerism message in there somewhere but I was just so fascinated by it all that I didn’t even have time to process it. It’s an action film and it doesn’t require a lot of deep thought but the creativity will blow you away.

So now the hard part is over and all you have to do is shade in the square box on your ballot. Although I must say, if these shorts are playing in your city, you should definitely check them out.

If not, stay tuned for the Live Action Shorts.


4 Responses to “Oscar nominated Animated Short Film reviews….”

  1. theresazphotography Reply February 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I have not seen any of these films. The titles sound so interesting, have you seen any of them? Which of them did you like the best?


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