Oscars 2012: Best Animated and Live-Action Short Predictions

My first year of predictions, I could find all these shorts on YouTube, but that hasn’t been the case the last two years. As if I wasn’t taking enough of a shot in the dark already. Much of this was done through reading reviews and watching trailers.

Best Short Film, Animated

  • “Dimanche/Sunday”
  • “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
  • “La Luna”
  • “A Morning Stroll”
  • “Wild Life”

In this category, you always get a great mix of animated styles and it tends to be easier to figure out what the Academy will latch on to.  Of course, like always, you have a Pixar short film in the mix, though this one has not yet played before a feature film. La Luna will get more exposure when it plays before “Brave” this summer. You can expect it to be good at the least.

The less mainstream animated styles come from Wild Life and Dimanche. The Academy has been more apt to award CGI lately, so I think these films should be considered the longshots. “Dimanche,” however, does seem to have a wacky sense of humor about it that could play well.

The one of these shorts I did find on YouTube was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Those who bet on the titles of these films in their Oscar pool might find themselves lucky, as I found it quite the moving 15-minute film. It speaks to the power of books and imagination and the animation is on par with major studio work.

The wild card appears to be A Morning Stroll, which tells the same basic story in three animated styles, each 50 years apart. It certainly boasts the clever factor and the more intriguing animation.

Prediction: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”



Best Short Film, Live Action

  • “Pentecost”
  • “Raju”
  • “The Shore”
  • “Time Freak”
  • “Tuba Atlantic”

The live-action entries this year appear to lean a bit more toward comedy than usual (I’ve seen only trailers), but that should hardly be a surprise when you consider the Best Picture nominees.

The funniest of them all appears to be Time Freak, in which the main character gets a time machine in his garage working yet chooses to use it to fix everyday interactions as opposed to visiting history’s more epic moments/eras. Although the Academy tends to award comedy, this would be an extreme example of such.

Similarly serious/humorous are Pentecost and Tuba Atlantic. The former centers on a young Irish football fan who gets a second chance at being an altar boy for his church. The films heads in a farcical direction from there. “Tuba Atlantic” tells of an old man who learns he has six days to live. The Norwegian film’s trailer already showcases a substantial amount of deadpan as the man takes to blowing up seagulls among other foolery in his final days, all accompanied by a teenager who has been sent to help him die.

On the more serious end is Raju, a German film about a couple who adopts an Indian boy only to discover he’s run away less than 24 hours later. With more of a dash of comedy is The Shore, easily the most prestigious-looking of all the entires in that it’s visually strong and stars Ciarán Hinds as an Irish expatriate who comes back home in his aging state only to confront what’s happened in his life as a result of him leaving, namely his former fiancé married to his best friend.

Having seen trailers and read reviews, I’m back and forth between “The Shore” and “Tuba Atlantic.” The latter appears to be the option for voters who like the clever stuff, whereas the former might be the choice of those who lean toward top filmmaking quality a bit more. I’ll choose based on the name.

Prediction: “Tuba Atlantic”


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