Best Live-Action Short Nominees:
*The Door, Juanita Wilson
Instead of Abracadabra, Patrik Eklund
Kavi, Gregg Helvey
Miracle Fish, Luke Doolan
The New Tenants, Joachim Back
Animated shorts about old people, live-action shorts about the young in mortal peril. In the Australian Miracle Fish, a boy, bullied at school, is confronted by a deranged killer. Kavi shows an Indian kid in Slumdog Millionaire misery (sold by his parents into slavery) but with no miraculous reprieve. In The Door, a Russian man tries to save his son, who's been fatally tainted by Chernobyl. In this poster-child Oscar category, show us The Door.
Best Animated Short Nominees:
French Roast, Fabrice Joubert
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, Nicky Phelan
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte), Javier Recio Gracia
Logorama, François Alaux, Herve de Crecy and Ludovic Houplain
*Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death', Nick Park
Photo credit: © Aardman Animations Limited 2008
A strong field, all five from abroad. The Irish Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty is a hoot and a howl, in which an old crone relates a creepy version of the Sleeping Beauty story to her terrified granddaughter; this sour 6-min. delight, written and performed by Kathleen O'Rourke, should be played as a lead-in to The Princess Bride. Spain's The Lady and the Reaper features another elderly woman taking her vengeance against the powerful. The French Logorama, the most daring and elaborate of the five, is a cop drama festooned with corporate logos; think of Tex Avery directing a Joel Silver movie. But the Oscar has to go to the Wallace and Gromit film, in part because it's fabulous but also because Park's stop-motion movies have already won four Oscars. The only time he lost was when two of his films had to compete against each other the same year; the first Wallace and Gromit adventure lost to Creature Comforts.
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