2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action | Salt Lake City Weekly

2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action

Rated NR

★★★★★ ★★★★★
It’s easy to play the “who will win” game when evaluating nominated shorts, understanding that—especially in 2017—subject matter likely plays a much larger role than artistic quality. By that standard, the two relatively frivolous entries are just happy to be there: Timecode, a charming Spanish tale of two parking garage security guards who discover a unique common interest; and La Femme et le TGV, about an eccentric Swiss widow whose long tradition of waving to the passing high-speed train finally yields a response. There’s enough of a social message in Hungarian director Kristof Deak’s Sing—about schoolchildren responding to injustice within their choir—that it’s got a puncher’s chance, even if the climax is telegraphed from the get-go. But it would be wise to put your money on one of the two entries dealing with the plight of immigrants: the earnest but clumsy Silent Nights, about the relationship between a Danish homeless shelter volunteer and a Ghanaian refugee; and Ennemis Intérieurs, a two-hander about an Algerian-born man’s interview for French citizenship that takes a dark turn. Heavy-handed though it may be, it’s hard to ignore the creepy chicken-or-the-egg exploration of suspicion and terrorism.

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