The Academy Award nominations can drive you crazy between the snubs and the needless accolades. Some years are so bad, you may think you’ll never forgive them. But every year, however misguided their big ticket nominations, the academy does at least one wonderful thing. They draw attention to short films that would otherwise go unnoticed. Do yourself a favor and head to the Gateway Film Center to catch all fifteen of these magnificent short subject works of art, including these 5 wildly different live action gems.
A hospital janitor befriends a dying boy, and begins entertaining him with tales about a magical land called “Helium.” As the boy gets closer to death, it becomes clear the storytelling sessions are something the janitor needs just as much as his young friend.
The Voorman Problem
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) stars in this brisk, clever tale of a psychologist questioning a new patient who believes himself to be a God.
Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
From Finland, this 7 minute entry is the shortest of the lot, bu it packs plenty of whimsy into the tale of a harried mom trying to get her husband and kids ready to leave for a wedding.
Just Before Losing Everything
In French with subtitles, this would be our pick to win. It is the subtle, yet stirring look at a woman in the midst of a desperate attempt to leave her abusive husband. Director Xavier Legrand’s spare style keeps details to a minimum, and that makes all the difference.
That Wasn’t Me
This Spanish import follows aid workers in Africa who become pawns in a violent civil war. Alejandra Lorente delivers a compelling lead performance in a film that searches for hope amid savagery.