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Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that sounds like a complaint, think again: All too often, the Academy falls for either lightweight comedic shorts or over-earnest social-issue dramas, whereas this lot consists of several genuinely well-tooled micro-thrillers. It’s just a lot to stomach in a single, two-hour sitting.

The theatrical program opens with Spanish director Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s Goya-winning “Madre,” which begins with a slow pan of an empty beach — meaningless at first, but setting the stage for a parental nightmare that plays out entirely in the audience’s imagination. Like Gustav Möller’s nail-biting Danish feature “The Guilty,” this short conjures an

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