User Reviews (17)

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  • I just got back from seeing the five Oscar-nominated live action shorts and was pleasantly surprised. After seeing a mediocre batch of animated shorts yesterday, I was so happy to see that the live action films are among the very best I've ever seen nominated.

    I really enjoyed "Curfew" and it sure had a lot to like. Nevertheless, I think it's definitely a long-shot to get the Oscar simply because two other films ("Henry" and "Death of a Shadow") are perfect--among the two best short films I have ever seen. They just blow away the competition--but I would hate to see "Curfew" lost in the process. The quirky story was terrific but I really, really liked the acting--particularly Fatima Ptacek--who had one of the best child performances I've seen in years! The film starts on a VERY dark note. Richie is in the midst of committing suicide when he gets a phone call from his estranged sister--she is in a bind and no one can watch her child, Sophia, and she begs Richie to watch her. But, since Richie is a drug-using loser, she sets some VERY specific rules for the evening. Where it all goes from there, you'll just have to see for yourself. The film is ALMOST funny--but also darkly tragic and touching--a difficult sort of path, but the film succeeded in doing this. But THE reason to watch it is Ptacek--who gave a performance that reminds me, a bit, of McCauley Culkin in "Uncle Buck". I can't wait to see more from this kid--I just hope she keeps her head on straight when all the offers start pouring in--and they are sure to. Well worth seeing.

    UPDATE: In keeping with my usual track record with predicting Oscar winners from this category, I was wrong about "Curfew" as it DID win! I am glad I am not a betting man!
  • Really like that short. Kind of feels like an amalgamation of movies I grew up with in the 90ties in a good way. There's a touch of Léon (1994) with that strange colliding of worlds between an adult and a sweet kid (even though she's does not want to become a junkie ;)), there's the bowling alley with musical intermission of The Big Lebowski (1998)and that composed song by Shawn Christensen himself somehow recalling the soundtrack of Drive. Add good acting and a good camera and that mix adds up to movie that has a good length but I still wanted to see more of.

    I even tried to get hold of that "bowling alley song". I'm guessing it must be that "sophie so far" song composed and performed by Christensen. Please add this to iTunes. People would buy this for sure.

    And congrats to winning the Oscar!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film addresses the difficult relationship between adult siblings: brother and sister. Short production is the perfect choice for Christmas. At the time in which our lives a little stops. Then we have time to reflect on your life. We can make an examination of conscience. Consider whether to make everything we do well. Do we act in accordance with our internal beliefs. Finally, is it possible our reconciliation with those close to our heart, soul. Very good role of a girl named Sophia (played by Fatima Ptacek). The rest of it was okay. There were plenty of tension in the film, melancholic atmosphere, and even a pinch of humor.
  • anabelengm5 March 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    You can't say no to this. It's less than 20 minutes long and it's absolutely beautiful.

    Richie has problems of his own, it's really obvious given that beginning. His sister calls him asking to take care of her daughter, whom he never sees. We learn that it's not because he doesn't want to, but because of something that happened years ago.

    It's an incredible story about family. How Richie bonded with the little girl and, later on, re-bonded with his sister.

    Lovely story and amazing acting from everyone. More often, we see kids overacting or trying too hard. So, it always amaze me when I see a child giving this kind of performance. Fatima Ptacek acts and she does it brilliantly.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of my acquaintances had a short film in Tribeca in 2012 and I went to the "Menhattan" Block of shorts to see it. While I enjoyed it, it was there that I first discovered CURFEW - what an amazingly brilliant short! I also had the chance to meet and chat with Writer-Director/Lead Actor Shawn Christensen - such a talented individual. A Rennaissance man, if you will. He also wrote the music for the film.

    The film opens up at a dark point with our lead character Richie, who has obvious suicidal tendencies and bouts with both drug-use and depression. At his lowest moment, he receives a phone-call from his sister, who is desperate - with nowhere else to turn - asking him to watch his niece Sophia.

    Where the movie goes from there, I will let the viewer discover for themselves. However, Christensen, not only does a very good job portraying Richie, he manages to tell a full story in only 19 minutes - no easy feat! As the director, he also manages a nice mix between this heavy-handed drama with the perfect amount of humor blended in. It's a tightrope, but Christensen navigates it well.

    Much kudos to the young Fatima Ptacek, who despite her young age, turns in a brilliant performance as Sophia, Riche's niece.

    One thing that is a testament to Christensen is that this film NEVER runs into melodrama, but is the best kind of drama - the kind that forms a lump in your throat and brings a tear to your eye. Without seeming as if it's trying to, it does tug at your heartstrings.

    I saw this film almost a year before it won the Academy Award, but I said it then and will say it again now: It was one of the BEST SHORT FILMS I'VE EVER SEEN! I told Shawn Christensen he was going to win the Academy Award and it was no surprise to me when it did.

    And, I am anxiously awaiting his next masterpiece.
  • Watching Shawn Christensen's Academy Award-winning "Curfew", I was reminded of Wes Anderson's works. Similar cinematography and characters (but a very different plot). The short has a good balance of comedy and drama, focusing on topics as different as responsibility and suicide. I've been making an effort to see a lot of Academy Award-winning (or even nominated) short films recently, so I'm glad that I got to see this one. I recommend it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are movies with a little story and they pull this with meaningless ideas and make it a movie of 1 hrs or more. But Curfew is not like that it is clear and concise to the point and well done from start to finish.

    For people who love drama this movie is not to be missed. The story revolves around a family of 3 and life choices that have separated them from each other and what bring them togother.

    All of them act pretty good and convincing. The direction is also awesome.

    At the end of the movie you don't want the movie to finish so soon because you love the characters.

    MUST WATCH MOVIE
  • Warning: Spoilers
    You know, mankind was beginning to disappoint me. Hundreds of thousands of films have been made and released since around 1900 and there're only, like, eight or nine 10's? The usual suspects (Casablanca, The Godfather, Amadeus, Finding Nemo, Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring, Citizen Kane, etc) are already well ingrained in the movie-going psyche. Why do I rave so much about Curfew? No, it's not perfect. The background music came threateningly close to obscuring the actors' speech, but I think that may have been an artistic device: the little girl had a hard time connecting to her uncle because of the incessant noise around them. In that case, the director's vision fits.

    There was not one wasted, superfluous scene in this short. Everything was right on point - the lighting, acting, script, brevity, etc. The unexpected dance scene in the bowling alley was cute as hell. (I hope I didn't ruin that scene for you; I did mark that this review has spoilers).

    Without haste I'm now going out to look for other works Christensen has done. This short made my day.
  • Well directed and acted by Christensen, and it look out for Kirsten Holly Smith of the off-Broadway hit Forever Dusty!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Curfew" is a 20-minute film from 2012 that won an Oscar in the live action short category. The writer and director is Shawn Christensen and he is mostly known for writing Taylor Lautner's "Abduction". In this short film here, Christensen also plays the lead character. So what is it about. A man decides to commit suicide, but before he finishes the act, his estranged sister calls him and asks if he could take care of her daughter for a day. So he does and he bonds not only with the girl, but also with her mother/his sister again. In the end, he still decides to kill himself, but another call gets in the way. I have to say that I am not too impressed with this short movie. It's not bad by any means, but I just did not find anything about it really interesting, be it the direction, the characters or the writing. It felt baity to me with the beginning and ending in the bathtub and also with her discovering his wound and the dancing scene at the bowling alley was strange and not really great filmmaking in my opinion. They turned this into a feature film last year and I have not seen it, but I personally do not find this short film interesting enough to check out 90 minutes of the same. Pretty surprised it won an Oscar. Then again, I have not seen the other entries, but I certainly would not have awarded it with anything unlike so many awards bodies all over the planet did. The child actress wasn't that great either. Not recommended.
  • 100% spoiler-free.

    I think that this is a beautiful story that show themes such as life, death, love, pain, hopelessness, hope, loneliness, depression, emptiness, discovering a reason to live for, and - second chances.

    The story felt so real it must be based on real events, even though it is never claimed it is based on a true story, I personally am sure it must be. Nobody comes up with such a ridiculously plausible plot out of the imagination. The ending was good too. Overall, a meaningful story that left me thinking and wondering about life, and may leave you doing the same.

    Shawn Christensen - he wrote the story, directed, and was one of the two protagonists. I think he wrote a fine story, and directed it well, and his acting of a 'terminally' hopeless man was believable enough and good enough to carry the story.

    Fátima Ptacek - she did a great job; enjoyable to watch. Great acting. If Shawn the darkness, she was the light of this film.

    Emmy Rossum - I thought she did a great job too, especially towards the end, that scene she absolutely nailed it.

    Supporting cast - they did fine. Ron Perlman (from Hellboy) and Paul Wesley (from Vampire Diaries) were in this film; I wonder how they were afforded to be in it. Their acting was fine.

    Producer Damon Russell and Cinematographer Daniel Katz, and everyone else who helped make this beautiful film - thanks.

    Movie theme song - "Sophia So Far" by Goodnight Radio (2013). I am so thankful the movie released this full version of the song. It is first played during a really nice scene in the movie and also at the end of the film. This song instantly makes one think about the film.

    Conclusion: I think this is a beautiful story with multiple underlying themes about things like hope, love, life, death, and second chances. Watched it 2x so far, will surely watch it again in the future. It is a good film and it is worth a watch and recommending.

    9/10
  • Marwan-Bob20 February 2020
    It is really worth the time to watch this Oscar Winning short film by Shawn Christensen. I would recommend it to anyone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    You don't expect the ending of the film judging how it starts off. A man, Isolated, Solitaire and Depressed waiting for that lifeline! The way in which the Niece has an impact on Richie is incredible. Then a re-kindled love for his sister... Everything this movie stands for and presents is phenomenal!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When I looked at curfew I thought it would be a horror/thriller movie because of the title and the thumbnail showed a dude in a bloody bath on the phone. Boy was I wrong! It even looks to kick up speed when the guy goes to a shady apartment and tells the girl to stay by the door for a while. We then get what looks like a perspective shot and then it cuts to her sobbing. Whatever happened was never explained. Afterwards was 15 more minutes of the uncle and the niece spending time. Very disappointing
  • Someone who knew I was a bit battered by life told me to seek out and watch this short, and I'm so glad they did, because it went under my radar.

    Without spoilers I can only say that it captures the feeling of being at the last saloon, and how the smallest thing can make you go one way or another. Trust me on this.

    Shawn Christensen deserves so much praise for his understated performance as well as doing pretty much everything else, and what a find Fatima Ptacek is. A solid double header of talent.

    Everyone I know that has seen it talks about the fantasy ( or is it ) sequence, that great tune, and the sureal scene in an otherwise dark tale.

    Bottom line: WOW. It really is a ten out of ten. 20 minutes of your life, what have you got to loose.
  • logicproreviews3 September 2018
    Yes, this short film is OK. It ticks all of the boxes that make festival judges salivate. It has the lonely protagonist going through a crisis, we have the sister that creates the main conflict early on - early enough to stop him from doing the unspeakable. The young girl does a good job here as the bratty child with a strict to do list.

    The story was well paced and it keeps you engaged. Some parts bordered on pretension though, such as the use of the song, "We'll Meet Again", and the composition, "Si on change les équipes ce n'est plus une revanch". These seemed misplaced - as if it was a case of, we acquired the rights so we'll use it type of thing.

    The dance sequence was also out of place. It didn't make any sense. It took me right out of the story. Onto the positives, Shawn Christensen is a good writer/director and was able to handle being the lead character too with relative ease. Curfew really cleaned up the Official Selections and Awards. I mean it's good but is it that good?

    Christensen is clearly well known and has a lot of contacts in the industry. I've seen shorts this good and better that didn't get the recognition they deserve. They just fell into oblivion because the talent were simply not known.

    Anyway, this is a solid effort all round. 7/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Curfew is a short film written by and starring Shawn Christensen. Shawn plays a young man name Richie who deals with a drug addiction and depression by a way of attempting suicide. Richie's suicide attempt is interrupted by his estranged sister Maggie (Kim Allen) who hasn't spoke to him in years. Maggie calls Richie and asks him to look after his nine year old niece; Sophia (Fatima Ptacek) for a few hours while she deals with a situation. Richie is not the ideal babysitter, but, Maggie has no one else to turn to so he agrees to take on the responsibility.

    When Sophia first meets her uncle Richie she gives him a hard time by stating the rules of how to look after her. They spend several hours getting to know each other; eating fries, going bowling, and looking at a memoir of Richie's childhood memories. By surprise the two of them begin to bond. Richie learns some valuable lessons about the unexpected joys of life through bonding with his niece. Sophia and Richie build a connection and she helps him see that life is worth living for. The two of them are out to eat and she is asking him lots of questions trying to figure out what his life is all about. She talks to him as if she is the adult and he is the child. Richie becomes frustrated; he wants her to shut up and eat. Sophia helps Richie realize how much he is missing in life by pointing out the things he don't have. The acting was amazing. Fatima played the character of Sophia really well as if she's been acting all her life.

    This film reminds me of Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning. The themes are similar in nature. Man on Fire is about a former US Intelligence Agent Creasy, who is withdrawn from all the violence and corruption in the world. He is hired to guard ten year old Pita, played by Dakota Fanning. Pita teaches Creasy how to soften up, live a little and to look on the bright side of things. Sophia and Pita are two young, innocent individuals at the beginning stage of their lives. These two angels' helps two men turn their situation around and see the joy in living.