Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

For the films of 2020
anonymous1980
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:34 am

I've seen them all.

My personal preference:
1. Feeling Through
2. White Eye
3. The Letter Room
4. Two Distant Strangers
5. The Present

Order of likelihood of winning:
1. Two Distant Strangers
2. Feeling Through
3. White Eye
4. The Present
5. The Letter Room

They're all solid films. Not a bad film in the bunch. I think the Top 2 is neck-and-neck. The fact that the issue that Two Distant Strangers tackles is very much in the news right now could give it a big boost and put it over the top. If voters vote for emotional impact, Feeling Through would have the edge (especially if they know about the casting of an actual deaf-blind actor to play the deaf-blind character). Some people are predicting The Letter Room because it's the one that has famous actors in it. While it's a perfectly lovely film, it doesn't have the same impact as the other four that would make people vote for it.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby dws1982 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:39 pm

I saw the Shorts programs (well Animated and Live Action) a couple of years ago and actually did not find it very helpful in predicting the Live Action category. Partially because all of the films had a sameness about them--people dying or kids in peril or both--that made them hard to distinguish. The most miserable group of five films I've ever sat through. Although I did end up predicting that category correctly, mainly because I thought Skin's race-based theme might resonate in the year of Green Book, which is a much better movie than Skin, and that's the nicest thing I'll ever say about Green Book.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby gunnar » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:28 am

I took my niece to see all of the shorts at the Detroit Institute of Arts the last couple of years and it was nice to see all of them at once. They did the live action and animated in one program and the documentary shorts in another. They're doing it virtually this year like a lot of other places,

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby MaxWilder » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:35 am

The one time I saw all the shorts at MoMA, I won my Oscar pool. (One of the nominees was a Martin McDonagh short western starring Brendan Gleeson; once I’d seen it, I knew it was a surer thing than even PSH for Capote.) If you’re looking to win yours, I recommend it.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby dws1982 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:07 pm

Several arthouses that offer virtual streaming options have the streaming program this year. The Belcourt in Nashville has the individual streaming programs for $12 each or a bundle of all three for $30, and I suspect other theaters have similar prices. Some of your money on those purchases goes to support the theaters.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby gunnar » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:28 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:I'll post my reviews and assessment once I've seen all five shorts. I've already seen Feeling Through (on YouTube) and The Present (on Netflix). I know that Two Distant Strangers will drop on Netflix this week. Unfortunately, you have to pay $6.99 to stream The Letter Room on Vimeo and I don't know where to find White-Eye at all. Where can I see these films?


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anonymous1980
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:19 pm

I'll post my reviews and assessment once I've seen all five shorts. I've already seen Feeling Through (on YouTube) and The Present (on Netflix). I know that Two Distant Strangers will drop on Netflix this week. Unfortunately, you have to pay $6.99 to stream The Letter Room on Vimeo and I don't know where to find White-Eye at all. Where can I see these films?

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby gunnar » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:30 am

My favorite in this category is The Present. I thought that it was fairly well acted and I liked the resolution at the end.

Second place for me was Feeling Through, followed closely by Two Distant Strangers. They were very different films, though I think that each advocated for perseverance in their own way. Two Distant Strangers was definitely the more energetic of the two while Feeling Through was a bit more personal.

White Eye and The Letter Room were both decent, but I thought that they lagged a ways behind the other entries.

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Categories One-by-One: Live Action Short

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:04 am

Not sure how many people have caught up with all of these yet, but thought I would open up a discussion here.

My favorite of the films is White Eye, which might also have the least shot of winning. An Israeli updating of Bicycle Thieves, I found it very powerful but I could also see it being the most distancing to viewers.

The Present, the other Israeli-set film in the roster, seems like a strong contender for the award. It has the child perspective that this category can often lean on, and also deals with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in a very personal way. It also has Netflix backing it, which could make a big difference here. I wouldn't count it out.

On the surface, The Letter Room might seem the least likely to win, but this category has had a habit of going with the big stars, and this is a film starring Oscar Isaac directed by his wife. It's an interesting story.

I think, though, that the category will go down to the two New York set stories. Two Distant Strangers is a film that I had little time for -- picture Groundhog Day from an ACAB viewpoint -- but one that also could play right to the moment. It certainly feels the most urgent and "important" of the nominees, while also coming across as surprisingly entertaining (at least for parts of it). I keep remembering that Skin did well here a few years ago, and the same people who found that film clever and smart could also embrace this film.

I would place my bet, I think, on Feeling Through. This is by far the most heart-warming of the bunch, and the film has been pushing hard on social media (including by executive producer Marlee Matlin). For this sort of uplifting short film, this is certainly better made than a lot of the similar ones I've seen in this bunch over the year, and feels like the sort of film the Academy would go for.
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