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With the 94th Academy Awards airing on Sunday, March 27, we are deep in award season. I try to watch as many of the nominated films as possible, before Oscar night. For the third year in a row, my local indie theater, Bookhouse Cinema, offered showings of all of the Oscar nominated short films…live action, animated and documentary.
I enjoyed a day at Bookhouse, watching the shorts and savoring vegan food.
If you haven’t seen this year’s nominated shorts, no worries! I have you covered with a brief summary of each short. No spoilers. I also give my predictions on which shorts take home the Oscar.
2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films – Live Action
The following five live action films received nominations:
Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
Country of origin: Switzerland
Writer and director: Maria Brendle
A young Zyrgyz woman named Sezim is kidnapped and forced to marry a man she’s never met. Sezim struggles with her desire to study at the university and pursue her own dreams and the loss of freedom dictated by the Kyrgyz culture she’s grown up in.
My thought: It’s shocking and eye opening that this practice still occurs for thousands of young women every year.
On My Mind
Country of origin: Denmark
Writer and director: Martin Strange-Hansen
In this gently humorous short, Henrik arrives at a bar shortly after it opens, with a strange yet urgent request. He must sing the song “Always On My Mind” while the sympathetic barkeeper films the performance. Although he’s reluctant to say why, it’s a matter of life, death and karaoke.
My thought: This short is sad, funny and sweet with a hint of the supernatural. I loved it a lot.
Country of origin: USA
Writers KD Davila and Omer Levin Menekse, diretor KD Davila
A young man’s life is inexplicably turned upside down when he’s arrested and jailed by an automated justice system. He knows he’s innocent…if he can just find an actual human to talk to.
My thought: This one made me think about our current justice system and where it’s heading.
Country of origin: Poland
Writer and director: Tadeusz Lysiak
A lonely woman working in a dead end job in rural Poland feels hope when a truck driver shows interest in her. Before they meet up for drinks in four days, she must find the perfect dress to wear…and work through many conflicting emotions.
My thought: Ahhh…this short tugs at the heart, in painful ways.
The Long Goodbye
Country of origin: UK
Writers Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia, director Aneil Karia
A typical day for a close knit British Pakastani family goes horribly wrong when the chaos playing out on their television screen arrives at their own front door.
My thought: Wow. While it’s the shortest live action film, it packs the most powerful punch. I’m still thinking about this one.
Predicted Oscar winner: The Long Goodbye
2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films – Documentary
Not usually my favorite short category, this year’s documentaries all impressed me. I enjoyed watching each one and had a hard time picking a projected winner.
Country of origin: USA
Director: Matthew Ogens
Maryland School for the Deaf football player Amaree and his teammates attempt to preserve their years long winning streak while coming to terms with the tragic loss of a classmate and friend.
My thought: I loved this look at how Amaree and his teammates learn to thrive in the hearing world while creating their own unique ways of perceiving it.
Lead Me Home
Country of origin: USA
Directors: Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
This documentary follows several people living on the streets of three West Coast cities. We not only learn their stories but see the challenges they face in changing their homeless situations.
My thought: I am still thinking about this documentary. My city is currently working to do something to help the homeless in my area and this doc shone a stark light on the growing epidemic.
The Queen of Basketball
Country of origin: USA
Director: Ben Proudfoot
Lucy Harris is one of the greatest living basketball players. She led her college team to three national trophies, scored the first basket in women’s basketball at the 1976 Olympics and received an invitation to play in the NBA.
My thought: This is a fun, heart warming documentary about an amazing woman who followed her dream.
Three Songs for Benazir
Country of origin: Afghanistan
Directors: Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
Shaista is a young man newly married to Benazir. The couple lives in a camp for displaced people in Kabul. Shaista struggles with wanting to be the first in his tribe to join the Afghan National Army and wanting to care for his growing family.
My thought: I appreciate this inside look at what life is like living in a displacement camp. People struggle with pursuing dreams and building security while simply trying to survive.
When We Were Bullies
Countries of origin: Germany and USA
Director: Jay Rosenblatt
A series of amazing synchronicities leads a documentary maker to track down his fifth grade class and teacher back in Brooklyn to examine a memory of a bullying incident the whole class took part in against one boy.
My thought: It’s so interesting to see what people remember about the bullying incident that they all took part in and how they react 60 years later. Plus I loved how Jay followed sychronicities to unravel the past.
Predicted Oscar Winner: I’m torn between Lead Me Home and When We Were Bullies…with the latter edging ahead for the win.
2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films – Animated
Although animated, these shorts are not intended for children. In fact, three of the animated shorts came with warnings about nudity, violence and/or disturbing images. Like the live action and documentary shorts, these films look boldly at humanity in all of its conditions.
Affairs of the Art
Countries of origin: UK and Canada
Writer Les Mills, director Joanna Quinn
This quirky animation features Beryl, a female factory worker past her prime with strong artistic inclinations…and her lovable, eccentric family. Their obsessions range from drawing to conspiracies to taxidermy.
My though: This humorous look at the eccentricities of artists is indeed quirky and beyond the edges! I laughed…and also cringed.
Bestia – Beast
Country of origin: Chile
Writers Hugo Cavarrubias and Martin Erazo, director Hugo Covarrubias
Ingrid works for the Chilean Intelligence Directorate in 1975. Her bizarre life, intertwined with relationships with her dog, her own body and her fears reveals a fractured mind and the atrocities that damaged a country.
My thought: This dark film is difficult to understand completely, without doing some additional research after viewing.
Country of origin: Russia
Writers Anton Dyakov and Andrey Vasilyev, director Anton Dyakov
Talented ballerina Olya encounters tough, rough boxer Evgeny, An incredible relationship begins between these two opposite personalities that goes beyond philosophies and perspectives.
My thought: There’s sweetness in this unexpected pairing.
Country of origin: UK
Writers Daniel Ojari, Michael Please and Sam Morrison, directors Daniel Ojari and Michael Please
When an egg falls from its nest during a storm, a family of mice raise the baby robin that hatches as one of their own. This sweet tale follows Robin’s journey as she discovers who she really is and what she can do.
My thought: This is the only animation in the group that children could watch. It’s a heart warming tale of self discovery and family.
The Windshield Wiper
Country of origin: Spain
Writer and director, Alberto Mielgo
This film offers a beautiful collection of scenes featuring the complexities of love, after a man sitting in a café asks the greatest of questions, “What is love?” As the vignettes and situations show, it’s not an easy question to answer.
My thought: This animation made me smile. Not all of the situations portrayed are ideal and yet they showcase the many facets of love in today’s society.
Predicted Oscar winner: Although Robin, Robin is a sweet, feel good film, I’m going with The Windshield Wiper for the win.
See Which Short Film Wins at the Oscars
I so appreciate that Bookhouse Cinema brings in all of the shorts for viewing. I love these unique perspectives of life and humanity, as seen through the creativity of talented writers, directors, artists and film makers.
In between film sets, I enjoyed a vegan lunch, a vegan afternoon tea and a light, vegan dinner at Bookhouse’s pub. What a fun day for me, a film buff who looks for the deeper messages within those stories on the big screen.
I’ll update this post with the winners, after the Academy Awards airs. Watch for my upcoming Best Picture Nominations as well, with brief summaries of each film.
Have you seen any of the Oscar nominated short films?
Create your own at home Oscar Party with these Amazon finds:
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