Monique and I did something really fun this afternoon. We went down to the DIA (Detroit Institute for the Arts) and saw all of the Oscar-nominated short animated and live-action films. They were all really good. If the show is playing somewhere near any of you, I highly recommend it. (I've also heard that they're up on iTunes, but the iTunes "Oscar Short Films" listing only has the winners and nominees through 2007. Presumably this year's crop will be along soon. )
I don't have a full review in me tonight, but Monique and I gave the top animated marks to "La Maison en Petits Cubes" and "Lavatory - Lovestory". "La Maison en Petits Cubes" is the story of an old man fighting off a rising tide that is overwhelming his house. It starts kind of slowly but really hits home when you realize what it's really about. "Lavatory - Lovestory" is a very sweet story of a restroom attendant who discovers that she has a secret admirer. Some of you may have already seen one of the other nominees, "Presto", which was a short that was included on the WALL-E DVD. It's a very funny cartoon about a rabbit in a magic act, and it holds up well in this distinguished company. I guess "La Maison en Petits Cubes" would get my vote, but it's close.
I'm still not sure which one of the live-action films I liked best. If I had to vote I might go for "New Boy", which is based on a Roddy Doyle short story about an African immigrant boys first day in an Irish classroom. But really and truly, they were all superb.
Here's the full list. It'll be fun to have a rooting interest this year when we watch the Oscars:
Best animated short film
"La Maison en Petits Cubes" (Japan)
"Lavatory - Lovestory" (Russia)
"Presto" (United States)
"This Way Up" (Great Britain)
Best live action short film
"Auf der Strecke (On the Line)" (Germany/Switzerland)
"Manon on the Asphalt" (France)
"New Boy" (Ireland)
"The Pig" (Denmark)
"Spielzeugland (Toyland)" (Germany)