Ranking 2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films Part 3
The live-action shorts category at the Oscars is often quite dark. A recent year, in fact, three of the five nominated films involved the death of children. This is also the case this year, with the five films chosen exposing the inequalities of criminal justice, terrorism, the death of loved ones and other sad things.
All five are available to view as part of Shorts TV’s release of shorts programs in theatres, while one was published by The New Yorker magazine and can be viewed on its channel. Youtube. My movie rating:
1. Please wait
My favorite film of the five – and perhaps of the entire shorts program this year – is KD Davila’s film, a truly creative allegory about the injustice of the criminal justice system.
Erick Lopez plays a man who is stopped one day in the street by a drone and thrown into a Kafkaesque nightmare in which automated hardware and software refuse to tell him of his crime. The best idea, among many, is that the “public defender” is played by a cartoon that looks like Clippy.
The method is fictitious, but the effect is not so different from what happens when people with no money face arrest.
It’s a bit of advocacy work, but cuts to the chase and does it masterfully.
2. In My Head
This film, released from Denmark, begins with a middle-aged man (Rasmus Hammeric) arriving at a nearly deserted bar and demanding to sing karaoke to the titular Elvis song. We quickly learn why, and it’s quite heartbreaking.
The film, directed by Martin Strange-Hansen, is available on The New Yorker’s website, and you won’t regret it.
3. The dress
This film, hailing from Poland, tells the kind of story that is not often explored by films. A dwarf named Julka (Anna Dzeiduszycka) works as a housekeeper at a truckers’ motel and lives a lonely life that she really wants to get laid in.
Seeing an opportunity, she buys a dress for the occasion, but in what is a category theme, things take a dark turn.
Directed by Tadeusz Łysiak, the film successfully creates a fully realized world in its short duration. It is considered a forerunner in the category.
4. Ala Kachuu (take and run)
This film, out of Kyrgyzstan, delves into the culture of forced marriage from this film. Sezim (Alina Turdumamatova), an educated and liberated woman, is kidnapped, thrown into a car and forced to marry against her will.
Directed by German-Swiss filmmaker Maria Brendle, this powerful film shines a light on a tragedy that most people who watch it probably know nothing about.
5. The Long Goodbye
This film, directed by Aneil Karia and written by actor Riz Ahmed, is the shortest of the five, but it has the most shocking tonal shifts of all – perhaps too shocking. The 18-minute film begins with a festive celebration in an English flat before being suddenly shattered by the arrival of creepy, possibly Nazi-aligned gunmen. Its final third features a spoken performance by Ahmed himself; the actor also released an album titled The long goodbye in 2020.
I might be interested in a feature that has had time to breathe, but as things stand The Long Goodbye doesn’t quite work.
Part 1: 2022 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
Part 2: Short documentaries nominated for the 2022 Oscars
Part 3: 2022 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts