10 February 2018 | Quinoa1984
the most joyful of the 2018 Oscar nominated shorts
One of the things I notice about the short films often nominated in live-action is that they are often *about SOMETHING*, as in there's an issue to push or some time of agenda. Not that that's always a bad thing - the towering #1 of the bunch for 2018 is about one of the saddest moments in 20th century American history - but it does crowd out other short films made by people who have no other aim than to be clever or witty or try to get some laughs out of a premise that can get mileage from the actors and/or the writing. In that sense The Eleven O'Clock is the most palatable as far as not having something it is aching to get across, unless, of course, one is looking at the issue of psychology and therapy as the issue, but in that sense one might look at the Spanish Inquisition sketch on Flying Circus to be an in-depth historical overview of that period.
This has the air of a light but still great Python sketch, where it's all built around the misunderstanding of who is in charge when a doctor is talking to the patient. Here the roles get reversed to the point where you wonder when the switch will occur, as "Dr" Klein tries to convince the "actual?" Doctor Phillips that he's not really the doctor and that he's the patient. Around and around it goes for ten minutes, and if it's not always laugh out loud funny it's a film made by people on their toes and hoping to keep the audience on them as well. The ending is also wonderful in that way of coming full circle, and the cast (including writer/actor Josh Lawson, adept at comic timing like no one's business, so is Damon Herriman as Klein) makes it work completely.
If you want to have a quick breath of relief from the other nominated films, which are harsh and brutal and sad and full of pain and suffering, this is... only less savage than the others when looking at human nature and society. If I saw something like this in my college film group I'd hail it as the second coming.