I was so glad to see the shorts again this year. It makes the ceremony so much more interesting when I know everything I can about all the nominees. I honestly loved each selection this year- the Academy really has their work cut out for them in narrowing this category down to one.

Oscar Nominated Short Films Live ActionAuf Der Strecke (On the Line)
Rolf, a security guard at a book store, loves Sarah, a clerk, from afar. But after a tragic accident on the train they both take home, they come together for support. This short feels so real in the relationship between Rolf and Sarah and really hits a note of uneasiness with its final shot.

Manon sur le Bitume (Manon on the Asphalt)
An accident causes a young girl to reflect on moments in her life. This film was beautifully shot and is heart wrenching in its images. It brings together several characters with one very sad story.

New Boy
Joseph is taunted on his first day at a new school, which causes him to remember his last day at his old school. I loved this film as it was just the right mix of sweet and funny with despair and sadness. The film ends on a sweet note, with Joseph giggling amongst his new friends and putting his horrific past behind him.

Grisen (The Pig)
Asbjørn Jensen is admitted into the hospital for surgery and finds solace in a painting of a pig on the wall of his hospital room. When he gets out of surgery he is delivered some bad news, then discovers the pig has disappeared from the wall. He calls his daughter, a lawyer, to argue his case in getting the pig back on the wall as he has come to consider it his guardian angel. This short was funny and sweet, with a gleefully ironic ending.

Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Two small boys are best friends in WWII Germany- David is Jewish and Heinrich is not. When the Nazis come to retrieve the Jewish family, Heinrich’s mother tells him that David and his family are going to Toyland. Heinrich follows David’s family, causing his mother to go on a frantic search to retrieve her son. This film was very well made and has a heartwarming ending.

Prediction:
Spielzeugland. The Academy tends to favor holocaust films and this one pairs well with critical darling, The Reader.

What Should Win:
This is tough because I truly did love each and every selection this year, but I give the edge to Auf Der Strecke. Its characters were so real and it’s beautifully directed. The camera movements are intimate and do a lot to create a convoluted and sad love story in just 30 minutes.