Sunday, February 15, 2015


Wow, there are a lot of films nominated for Oscars this year!  Because of that challenge, I need to do a little bit more combining of reviews in order to make it to next Sunday and fit in all of the films.  So today's selection means all 10 narrative shorts in one sweet review!  Enjoy!

The Bigger Picture - Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper - Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast - Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton - Torill Kove
A Single Life - Joris Oprins

The Bigger Picture
The most interesting part of The Bigger Picture is the combination of flat drawing and 3-D pieces that get combined into this one animated short about two brothers who are caring for their elderly mother as she needs more and more attention.  The creativity of the animation is most certainly why it is nominated for an Oscar.

The Dam Keeper
This is a sweet little film whose message is about the devastating effect that bullying can have on a person. A lonely little pig who bears the responsibility of monitoring and maintaining the town dam is at the center of the story and when he finally makes a friend, we find it is more difficult to be betrayed than to be ignored.

Feast is an adorable story about a dog who is adopted by a single man and lives the bachelor life with him until his owner meets a woman who changes their lives forever.  It is so well done and the story is terrific, but it is produced by Disney so it most certainly will not win the category.  Having said that, if you sit in the audience of a theater and judge solely on audience reaction, Feast would win every time.

Me and My Moulton
This cute little film is about three sisters whose parents are avant garde architects so their lives are just a bit different than their friends.  Their clothes are artistic, their house has nutty furniture, and when they get their dream of owning a bicycle, it turns out to be unique in its own right.

A Single Life
This film is a true short - about 2 minutes - and is just hilarious.  It focuses on one person and what happens to her when a record arrives and once put on the record player, some crazy stuff happens depending on which part of the record you'd like to play.  Move it forward, the world moves forward in time.  Move the needle backward, the world moves backward in time.

Aya - Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham - Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp (Le Lampe au Beurre de Yak) - Hu Wei and Julien Feret
Parvaneh - Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call - Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Aya is the story of a woman who accidentally picks up a man at the Israeli international airport who thinks that she is his arranged driver.  We see the sadness in her life and they connect during the drive in a meaningful way.  He touches her in ways that she couldn't have expected when they started this journey.

Boogaloo and Graham
This charming film is about two brothers who are given chickens as a gift from their father, which they name Boogaloo and Graham.  They grow to love the chickens and are not happy to discover that their mom is pregnant, and she wants the chickens gone.  Now they must scheme to save their little pets.

Butter Lamp
This one is a funny one as a photographer and his assistant take pictures of families who live in a remote Tibetan village.  They bring every possible backdrop, allowing the subjects to appear at a holy shrine or Disneyland, and we get to see the families get prepared and gussied up for each individual shot.

Parvaneh is a young Afghani woman who is living in a refugee center in Switzerland when her mother phones that the family needs money to pay for an emergency operation for a member of her family.  The challenge is that she is unable to wire money without an official ID, which she doesn't have.  She solicits the help of a young Swiss woman, and an unlikely friendship grows between the two.

The Phone Call
I have talked about how much I love Sally Hawkins many times, and she is the star of this short.  She plays a woman who works at a suicide and support hotline, when a man calls in who has taken an excessive number of pills to reunite his wife who died recently.  Hawkins relentlessly pursues clues to figure out who and where he is so she can try to save his life.

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