Every 2020 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Short Film Briefly Reviewed

A Sister (2018)

IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) is such a common yet disturbing occurrence that happens in human culture, and to see an obscure visionary bring it to a cinematic format through a secretive 911 call was quite eye-opening and gripping to watch. 

The short film doesn’t do anything past just showing you what the event would realistically look like—so it doesn’t personally have a whole lot to say on the matter. However, it sought out and succeeded in doing exactly what it intended to do—successfully portray a realistic 911 call that subtly hints at a rape crisis.

A Sister would definitely be the short film out of the five that I would prefer to win, by the way. Evan’s lock of the year! 

Verdict: 3.5/5

Brotherhood (2018)

Scattered with plot-holes left and right, Brotherhood is a flawed but, thankfully, poignant and tightly shot short film that has a handful to say about egotistical parenting, degrading presumptions, and the un-talked-about intentions of some soldiers who want to leave a war behind. 

Verdict: 3/5 

The Neighbors’ Window (2019)

I’m about 99.9% sure that this 20-minute short is just a VIAGRA commercial that spontaneously decided to become a cancer awareness PSA at the last second.

I know, this is the “American” short film of the five pictures nominated, but please Academy, don’t let this corny-ass feature win. 

I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt though; it does have good intentions, and I can respect that. Somewhat. 

Verdict: 2/5

Saria (2019)

It is so utterly disturbing to even contemplate that abusive conditions like the ones exemplified in Saria actually occur in some orphanages in Guatemala. It’s a shame that the short film telling the devastating story of the tragic fire that occurred in Virgen de La Asuncion Safe Home is so bizarrely written and inadequately executed. 

Despite the quality of the actual picture being moderately low-grade, I think that this is a real-life situation that everybody should become aware of, so I do still recommend for anyone strong-willed enough to watch Saria and educate themselves. Or…better yet, just read about it. 

Verdict: 2.5/5

Nefta Football Club (2018)

Nefta Football Club is pretty funny at times, but I cease to understand what is so marvelous about it to receive a nomination by The Academy. It’s definitely not bad by any means though; it’s a fairly mind-numbing watch. 

Verdict: 2.5/5

I think all these 2020 Academy Award live-action short film nominations have firmly convinced me that we must petition to get a Letterboxd filmmaker nominated next year. I’ve witnessed folks on YouTube and “Piercing Productions” who have crafted far more experimental and innovative short pictures that deserve to be chosen more than most of these nominations. Then again, this is a LOT to ask from The…Academy

Oscar-Nominated Short Films Ranked

The 2020 Oscar-nominated live-action short films are now playing in select theaters.


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