And the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film Goes To . . .

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With The Academy Awards quickly approaching the nominees in the Best Live Action Short Film category bring together a group of resonating, heartfelt, challenging, comical, whimsical, delightful and difficult choices to the screen.

 

Watching each of them, it is a tough task to determine which will walk away with Golden. Good luck to all.

"Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)" (Director: Esteban Crespo, Spain/Spanish). 

Affecting, "That wasn’t Me" begins as two doctors, Spanish aid workers, and a guide are taken hostage by a group of militant rebels in a third world African nation. The machine gun toting children are no more than ten and are led in the rebellion, by an equally militant adult leader who brainwashes and indoctrinates them into the cult army by the kill.

The single survivor of the carnage includes Paula, who has watched her lover, their guide and the entire insurgent of militants murdered, hunts her abductor, Kaney, a child who murders indiscriminately as told.

"That Wasn’t Me" is deeply disturbing and resonating.

"Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)" (Directors: Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras, France/French).

Short Synopsis: Miriam has left her abusive husband and taken refuge with her children in the local supermarket where she works.

"Just Before Losing Everything" tells the story of so many fight or flight women who summon the final ounce of their resolve and leave an abusive situation. "Just Before Losing Everything" is highly stressful to watch, as the chase, caught and capture scene escalates into live or die. I expected a different, more tragic, ending as happens in so many cases.

The film details the accuracies of abusive relationships, with each employee playing the many reactions from supportive to chastising and unsupportive. Abuse is unfortunately classified by the CDC as at epidemic levels with no cure, vaccine on the horizon.

Films like "Just Before Losing Everything" may be the beginning of the end.

"Helium" (Directors Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson, Denmark/Danish).

Short Synopsis: A dying boy finds comfort in the tales of a magical land called "Helium," told to him by the hospital janitor.

"Helium," I must say was probably my favorite of the short live action films, the story of a dying child, Alfred, a handsome, precocious, affable boy with an unfair diagnosis, who finds peace in the story told to him by someone on this side of the death experience, as one left behind.

"Helium" captures the heart and soul as the humanity of, as one would say, a lowly janitor brings calm to a frightened boy who needed more assurance than the obscurity of the unknowns and assuredness of a Heaven he doesn't understand.

In 22 minutes the "Helium" takes the viewer on an incredible journey of love, comfort, and hope.

"Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)" (Directors: Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari, Finland/Finnish).

Short Synopsis: Sini tries frantically to get her family ready to leave for a wedding, but her husband and two children are interfering with her efforts.

The comedy in the group, "Do I have To take Care of Everything," is lighthearted, funny for families and mothers alike, who are reminded of a day not unlike Sini and her families hilarious escapade. As they dash around the house, everything that could go wrong does in this fun, madcap race against time as they get ready for a very important event after the entire family wakes up late.

From the massive hole in her stockings, to the children’s still wet dresses, to leaving them to decide what is the best party dress alternative, to spilled coffee, forgotten presents, missed transportation, "Do I Have To Take Care of Everything" becomes a comedy of errors and mishaps.

"Do I have To take Care of Everything," is wacky, zany, nutty, a chaotic comical adventure film with an ending not to be missed.

"The Voorman Problem" (Directors: Mark Gill and Baldwin Li, UK/English).

Short Synopsis: A psychiatrist is called to a prison to examine an inmate named Voorman, who is convinced he is a god.

"The Voorman Problem," is a sci-fi short that begins as a psychiatrist is called, in as a replacement for the ailing regular, to examine a very charismatic prisoner, who believes he is God.

Engaging prisoner Voorman in conversation, the psychiatrist becomes intrigued by his relatively rational thought processes and is somewhat challenged by the continued gauntlets he throws down to prove his deity.

In a final meeting, Dr. Williams, begins his usual authoritative and condescending questioning to which Voorman issues a final challenge.

"The Voorman Problem" an intriguing glance into ability of the obsessed mind to turn his psychosis into convincing truth.

The 2014 Academy Award Live Action Short Film Nominees, with estimated running time of 108 minutes in total, are playing, collectively, nationwide. Check your local listing. 

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