The 2016 Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts, Ranked

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of short films, but the Oscar-nominated shorts for 2016 have largely been pretty good. That doesn’t mean some aren’t better than others, so here it is, a definitive ranking of the five shorts nominated for an Oscar in the Live Action category:

5. Ave Maria

A Jewish family crashes their car outside a Christian convent in the West Bank, forcing two wildly diverse groups of individuals to work together to solve a simple problem. Sadly, while cute in its own little way, the short film feels more like a shrugworthy SNL sketch than anything deserving Oscar attention.

4. Day One

An Afghani-American woman joins the Army as an interpreter and must help a bomb maker’s wife deliver a baby. While I understand the message the director was intending to get across, I just never cared. The film is well made, but bland and unremarkable.

3. Shok

Set in Kosovo in 1998, the short film follows two friends as their country begins to crumble under civil war. While not perfect, the story is interesting and the film features an inevitable but still shocking ending that will last with you long after the credits roll.

2. Stutterer

This cute, romantic film is about a young man who has started an online relationship but, on the verge of meeting the woman in person, has yet to reveal that he has a horrible stutter that makes him nearly unintelligible. The film feels believable and though you only have a few minutes together with the protagonist, you want so desperately for him to find happiness.

1. Alles Wird Gut (Everything Will Be Okay)

This drama-thriller is about a divorced father who takes his young daughter for a day–only his intentions are to flee with her to another country. Once you figure out that what you’re watching is a kidnapping, the movie becomes incredibly intense. It also features terrific performances by both leads.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Awards & Oscars, Drama Movies