Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts

With his fully developed concept realized in lush black and white, Luke Matheny, the director and star of 

  • "God of Love,"
announces his arrival as one to watch. His short is the best of the bunch, but may lose out to 
  • "Wish 143,"
the smart comic story of an adolescent cancer patient who gets to "Make a Wish" and asks to have sex with a beautiful girl. 
  • "The Crush,"
the story of an Irish second-grader's crush on his teacher, starts brilliantly (he asks his parents how old he has to be to get married; they tell him sixteen and ask, "Why, do you have some news for us?"; "No," he responds, "well, not at the moment"), but takes an abrupt turn toward incongruous violence and profanity that doesn't fit the characters. 
  • "Na Wewe"
might have been a fascinating tale of a tour bus stopped by machete-wielding child soldiers in Burundi in the early 90s, but ends up going for a bad joke that trivializes the whole thing. Worst of all is 
  • "The Confession,"
which begins interestingly with a young Catholic boy trying to find something good to confess to his priest, but falls back on the overly coincidental plotting that marks most bad short stories.

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