Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

11 February 2013

Oscar Nominees 2013: Part 12 of 13


Paperman
1 Nomination
  • Animated Short Film
Director: John Kahrs

This is a really sweet little picture with a very old heterosexual love plot. Content-wise Paperman reminded me of the opening sequence of Pete Docter's Up: it's a whimsical, fantastic little love story with a happy ending and a healthy dose of magic. And the movie has a just-say-no-to-the-9-to-5 attitude reminiscent of Pretty Woman, but really the sentimental idea that our day jobs are keeping us away from true love and having fun is not really restricted to Garry Marshall. In fact, it's a rather widespread sentiment. The animation of Paperman is what I loved. It kept me in mind of last year's Oscar-winner, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Paperman is gorgeously realized and beautifully animated... and it will probably win the evening's Oscar.
Will Win: Animated Short Film
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #3 out of 5


Adam and Dog
1 Nomination
  • Animated Short Film
Director: Minkyu Lee

This is the most beautiful of the five films. It's the Biblical Adam and Eve story – the pleasures of Eden, the joys of naming the animals, the fall from the favor of G-d, and the expulsion from the Garden – but Minkyu Lee has added a dog to the narrative and the results are gorgeous. We follow the dog as he meets the animals and explores the forest; we watch the dog learn to fetch and play and love Adam. And when Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden at the end of this short film, Lee finds the dog to be the wisest of all creatures on Earth... and the most generous. The film ends with a moment of grace that I found deeply moving. Adam and Dog really ought to win the Oscar. Its animation is beautiful, its narrative is simple and touching, and I found its mercy and forgiveness profound.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: Animated Short Film
My Rating: #1 out of 5


Fresh Guacamole
1 Nomination
  • Animated Short Film
Director: PES

Imaginative and cool, this film is about food and gambling and hipster magic. It is delightful and will make you want to run to the nearest grocery store to pick up some avocados, onions, and jalapeños. At least that's what it did to me.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #4 out of 5


Head over Heels
1 Nomination
  • Animated Short Film
Director: Timothy Reckart

This is a sweet story about the ways that we slowly drift apart from the people we love and the difficulties of bridging the chasms between us once they've formed. Head over Heels's answers to these difficulties were a little too easy for my taste, but the storytelling is clever and I loved the metaphor upon which the film is built.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #2 out of 5


The Longest Daycare
1 Nomination
  • Animated Short Film
Director: David Silverman

I didn't get it. I mean, I get the narrative. Little girl learns about caterpillars turning into butterflies and then saves a caterpillar/butterfly from being turned into art. But the beginning of this film is about the ways that our individualistic über-Capitalist culture promotes the well being of some children while leaving others, whom it deems less talented or less special or whatever, behind. The Longest Daycare begins with this sentiment but then gets distracted by butterflies, and I just don't see how the film's two halves go together.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #5 out of 5