That may not be the big banner ones at the academy awards, but they contain some of the most interesting film work. Thats been done every single year, oscar week is upon us. The academy awards are on sunday and if there are some of these races, where you havent seen some of the nominees or you just want to know a little bit more about them or where to find them, then this is the video for you because were going To be covering the nominees for best animated film, best documentary best international, film and ill also be looking at the short film categories, unlike the academy awards. Well, talk about that a little bit more later, but lets jump into the ones that probably the most people have seen, the biggest number of which is the nominees for best animated feature. Some of these are movies that i have already reviewed on the channel two of them in particular three of them. I havent done full reviews here, and these wont be quite as in depth as my usual reviews, but i also just want to kind of give you my thoughts on these films in addition to what i think their chances might be at the oscars and things like That so lets start with the two movies that i have already reviewed here on the channel. The first one thats nominated for best animated feature is raya and the lash dragon. Now, admittedly, i have not revisited this since it came out over a year ago, but i look back on it much as i did when i initially reviewed it.

I think i described it as mild enthusiasm, i think its a fun kids movie, but i think that in a weaker year or maybe if it were made by a different studio, that it would not have been in the running now. Luckily, if you havent seen the animated films, they are very accessible here and, and these availabilities are going to be here in the united states. Your mileage may vary internationally, but right now riot and the last dragon is available here in the united states on disney plus its available for rental on digital platforms and its also available on physical media. What is it we forgot to bring a gift for the tail chief, the other film that ive already reviewed here on the channel, but also the one that im gon na kind of take out of that front. Runner status for the best animated feature award is pixars luca, which did not go to theaters. It went straight to disney plus last year. I had very similar feelings, as i did to raya. I think that this movie is fine, its probably the stronger of the two. I dont think its one of pixars best, and i think you know if dreamworks or sony put out this movie its distinctly possible that its not nominated but thats not to overlook the beauty of this film and the talent of the cast involved. Silence your bruises. Can you still hear it nope? Just you good luca is also currently on disney, plus its on physical media and its available to rent on digital platforms.

So those are the two that i reviewed here on the channel. I dont think that theyre going to win id actually be surprised if either one of them did but lets get to the three films that i have not reviewed, and i also think that any of these three films could conceivably win the academy award and the first One that i want to talk about is a movie called flee. Flee is probably the least known of the nominated films for best animated feature, but its also a really really special movie, in addition to best animated film, except for best documentary and best international film. That is a unique combination, its the only film in oscars history. To achieve that feat, this movie is denmarks entry into the academy awards race this year in the animated category, and it uses the medium for a very unique purpose. Its subject never actually appears in the movie. His name in the film is amin and he is masking his true identity for fear of reprisals, and he talks about fleeing the afghan war of the 1980s as a young child going to russia and then details his perilous attempts to escape russia for a better life. In denmark, complicating the issue is the fact that amin is gay and though he has now found happiness with his soon to be husband. He also documents the scars of having to hide who he is from everyone else. In his life and one of 2021s, most suspenseful film moments comes when he realizes that a relative has figured out his secret and he fears what may come next.

Flea is actually one of the most unique animated films ive ever seen, not just because of the technique which is beautiful, but also because of the story that it tells its a risky move to defy society. But amin is doing this not just to heal himself, but to move on to the next phase of his life. Flee is an engrossing and touching film. If you havent seen it, i highly recommend it. It is available to watch now on hulu here in the united states, its also on physical media and its available to rent on digital platforms. Another one of the three front runners is the mitchells versus the machines, which is a film that came out last year on netflix and its actually one that i didnt see for quite a little while, because you know i get why all of these streamers and netflix In particular, focus on all of the stuff that theyre making like we put out a new show and a new movie every single week, which is good for their subscriber numbers. I guess, but it sometimes makes it hard to really key on what should i be watching and mitchells versus the machines was one that really came to me through word of mouth, its, a strong directorial debut from mike ryonda, who also co, wrote the screenplay with jeff Rowe jeff rowe is another first time screenwriter who just took over the reigns of the upcoming animated teenage mutant.

Ninja turtles movie, mitchells versus the machine, starts as a road trip comedy when college freshman katie mitchells family, including dad rick voiced by danny mcbride mom, linda voiced by maya, rudolph and brother aaron voiced by director mike ryonda, decide to take her cross country to college. Instead of flying, as was her original plan, but things go from bad to worse for katie when a consumer ai becomes sentient and tries to enslave all of humanity, abby jacobson puts in a great lead performance as katie, who is an aspiring, filmmaker shes, looking forward to Going to college because she can find her niche for the first time, find acceptance with her peers, cinema and theres. Something else that i really admire about katies character, which is that she is a great example of representation in family media or in media in general, because katie has a crush on a girl in college later in the film its established that they go on to have A relationship and yet its not done in a headline seeking or attention seeking way i dont, feel like the movie, wants a pet on the back for introducing a gay character. I feel like theres a lot of other studios who want to draw as much attention to as little representation as possible and heres a movie. I think that does it in a meaningful way, but not in an obsequious way that seeks validation for it, its just an acknowledgement that there are people of all kinds on this planet and they all deserve stories to be told about them.

So that was something that i admired about the film but really the stuff that i admire. The most is the animation style, the humor, the adventure, sony. Pictures animation is really beginning to build a great resume with producers phil, lord and chris miller, and if mitchells versus the machines does win the academy award, then this will be sonys. Second, oscar win in this category in four years, following spider man into the spider verse, which will establish them as perhaps a dominant force, and i think that thats good for everybody, if you have somebody coming in that, can sort of derail the disney pixar train. Who win this award more often than not, although less increasingly in recent years? I think that that inspires everybody to up their game. We all love the dog, but youre gon na have to be prepared to eat the dog. Okay, okay, sorry misread the room on that. One one thing that i was shocked about with this movie was the fact that it was not nominated in a different category, which is best original song for on my way, which plays over the end credits of the film it wasnt, even shortlisted, for the best original Song nominations this year and it might be my favorite of all of them, including the ones that are nominated mitchells versus the machines is available on netflix, its also available on physical media and its available for rent on digital platforms. So its good its not just one of those streaming exclusives, you can find it other places as well.

By now, the competition at the top of this category is so strong, because the third movie that i could really see taking home the award is encanto from disney. Its a movie that i saw on thanksgiving weekend in theaters, i never got around to doing a review for it, which is a real shame, because it was my personal favorite animated film of 2021, although it was a very, very tough competition and im glad it finally Found its mass audience on disney plus, because i think its a really touching story about the weight of expectation about generational pressure, about the loneliness of being an outsider and ultimately about the importance of acceptance and growth, even in entrenched family dynamics. Encanto is one of the rare animated films featuring a young protagonist that, i think, has more lessons to learn for the adults than for the kids in the movie. Mirabelle whos, voiced by stephanie beatrice, is an outsider in her family for not receiving a magical gift at age five, but the fate of her family soon rests in her ability to confront her grandmother, alma and try to heal generations worth of hurt, and it was really Fun watching the progression of this film, like i said i saw it on thanksgiving and there were definitely fans of the movie, but once it hit disney plus around christmas, it really blew up and it goes to show how the awards race is so much about timing, Because the song that encanto put forward for best original song and it is nominated, is dos origitas, but i remember driving home and turning to mara and saying like you know, i cannot get that bruno song out of my head.

It was just lodged right in there. It was a real ear worm, and so it was really fun to see a month later, as more people saw it once it was available on streaming start talking about. We dont talk about bruno and i think that if encanto had come out in october lets say then we dont talk about bruno and maybe even surface pressure, which is another great song, would have been amongst the songs that they presented for the best original song nominations. But because you had to start that award season before the movie came out, then we dont talk about bruno really did become one of those uh very natural, growing things where people just discovered the music in the film and it wasnt. Necessarily the quote: unquote oscar song, that disney was putting forward for consideration and kantos really great, and it does what i love in so many animated films. It takes on a complex subject matter in a way that remains accessible to all audiences and perhaps also relevant to all of them, while also combining gorgeous animation, great music and memorable characters. Encanto is also available on disney, plus you can rent it on digital platforms and its available on physical media. So those are the five films nominated for best animated film, and i think that it really is a three horse race by the way to see who i actually pick for the academy awards stay tuned because later this week, probably on saturday im going to be doing A video where i pick my winners in every single category, so if you want a little help or just a little bit of a comparison for filling out your oscar ballot, i will be doing that.

On saturday, i still have one movie major movie to watch still, which is parallel: mothers to see penelope, cruzs performance after that ill be giving you my picks on who, i think, will win the academy awards ill. Also give you my picks on who i would give the academy award to based off of the nominations, so stay tuned for that video later this week. It should be a lot of fun lets move on now to the best international film category and its a very interesting mix of movies this year it usually is, but i think all these films are interesting in very different ways. Lets start off with a movie that, i think, is one that i enjoyed, but i dont think is going to be one that takes home the academy award and that is luna a yak in the classroom kind of a surprise nomination out of the five there were Other ones like a hero from iran and lamb from iceland that i think other people had slated in there. This is the country of bhutans, first ever oscar nominee in this category. So congratulations to bhutan. It tells the story of ugian, a young teacher in training whos assigned to teach in the remote village of lunana described as the most remote school in the world, ugin dreams of leaving his home for australia and resents his new assignment. But slowly begins to fall in love with lunana and the villagers, isolated, but innocent way of life.

Lunana is a very good film that only suffers in comparison to the other films that are in the category with it and im honestly really happy that it was nominated, because i more than likely would never have seen this movie. Otherwise. And i think this is where the oscars can really serve a great function. They can recognize films that many people would never have sought out uh. If not for that awards consideration. I think that thats, ultimately at its core, what the academy should be about, although it gets distracted with a lot of other things. But if you want to see a very sweet film, a very beautifully shot film and just a really good story about the pros and cons of a simple life, you can check out luna its available now to rent on digital platforms uh here in the united states. So a good movie, but i would take it out of that contention, even as an upset candidate for the best international film award watch it win now. The second movie is one that was released on netflix and that is a movie called the hand of god. This is italys submission this year, uh for the best international film award its a 1980s period piece about a young man named fabieto whose dreams come true when legendary argentine football star, diego maradona, comes to play for his hometown in naples, fabiato also dreams of becoming a Filmmaker, which makes sense considering this is a largely autobiographical movie from director paolo sorrentino.

Now i dont know if its insulting or a compliment to call filippo scotty, the italian timothy chalamet but thats the vibe that i got with him in this movie. He stars as fabietto. It really is a compliment because the character not only has to deal with the problems of a teenager in this film, but also problems beyond his years and scotty plays all of these emotions beautifully, particularly one grief, filled scene requiring him to yell out of desperation. One line repeatedly the hand of god is a reference to a famous or infamous goal in diego maradonas career, but also refers to the unseen force guiding the lives of everyone on earth, whether you refer to it as god or fate or chance or luck. The experiences and lessons learned in this film are painful and, aside from a couple of odd side, journeys and youll know what im talking about if youve seen the movie. This is a movie that i would put squarely in contention in any other year and it could pull off an upset. But i really think that these next three, just based on their overall strength, are the three to beat for the category uh but the hand of god. If you havent seen, it is definitely worth your time. It is available on netflix here in the united states. So the first of three films that i think has a legitimate chance of winning this oscar is flee, which weve already talked about a little bit.

It is from denmark. If fleas should win, it would be denmarks second consecutive win in this category following last years. Another round, but out of the three strangely, even though flea is also nominated for best animated film and is also nominated for best documentary. I think its sort of running behind two other movies that also got nominations in different categories. The first one is a movie called the worst person in the world its from director joachim trier. It was also nominated for best original screenplay, which trio wrote with escovote. It would be the first norwegian film to win the international film award if it did win the movie stars, renata rinsby, who won the best actress award at, can as julie whos, going through what was once called a quarter life crisis as she approaches 30 unsure of What she wants to do and who she wants to do it with we meet julie at several key moments of her life over the course of many months. The worst person in the world is a great example of balancing tone, because the movie goes between comedy satire drama tragedy, and it makes sense, because this is very much a look into julies, actual life and all of our lives are touched by all of these different Elements sometimes it seems like a mishmash if you try to do too much. But this movie partially because its told in little vignettes is able to juggle all of those things really efficiently and all the vignettes are appealing in their own way.

But i was particularly drawn to one where julie meets a stranger at a wedding party that she crashes, the two get to know each other delicately towing the line between flirtation and infidelity, and it sets up the conflict inside julie early in the movie. It would have been easy to make this film a series of comic misadventures, but this is instead a look at the insecurities that plague all of us most of us arent, actually the worst person in the world, but how many of us worry that we might be Thats a very interesting question that this film tackles its available here in the united states in select theaters, but it is also currently available for rental and purchase on digital platforms and in any other year the worst person in the world would be the front runner except There is yet another film that transcended this category and is nominated in many other ones, and that is drive. My car from japan drive. My car is directed by ryosuki hamaguchi, its also nominated for best picture best director and best adapted screenplay, its japans first film nominated for best picture. If it wins, it would be japans fifth best international film winner drive. My car is a three hour long meditation about a widower who deals with his grief while staging a multilingual stage, production of uncle vanya, and i wanted to get that description out of the way first, because it can be a bit of an obstacle for some folks.

However, i didnt find it to be challenging at all, because hamaguchi is able to keep the movie interesting and flowing as theater director yasuki kofuku played by hiratoshi nishijima starts a residency with a theater troupe in hiroshima, as yusuke learns more about his late wife. He grapples with both his memories of her and her complicated legacy, mostly while being driven by his chauffeur misaki played by toku miura after the previous director of the theater company, worked so hard that he fell asleep at the wheel. Im not gon na lie drive. My car does require a little bit of patience and buy in from you as the audience member. I dont think that the opening titles even appear on screen until about half an hour in, but the payoff is there, its characters who seem inconsequential or secondary, take the spotlight, and we realize that the answers that we as an audience are looking for, arent, necessarily the Ones that the movie is interested in focusing on last year, the show one division gave us that great line of what is grief but love persevering. I think that driving my car takes it even further to say inside of that love, how complicated does it get when the person you love is also the source of a lot of that grief, in addition to being beautifully, told its also a beautifully shot movie, adding To the isolation that these characters feel because of its multiple nominations, most would say: drive my car as a shoe in, but given the strength of the field, i think its entirely possible that we see a win from flea or the worst person in the world here.

It just kind of depends on how the votes break down if theres a split vote. I think any one of those three or maybe even the hand of god, could sneak in there for the surprise win drive. My car is available now to stream on hbo max its also available to rent on digital platforms and before we get into the best documentary category. I want to thank the sponsor of todays video nordvpn. For those of you wondering what a vpn is its a virtual private network, basically, it creates an encrypted tunnel for your data that protects your identity by hiding your ip address and allowing you to use public wi fi hotspots safely. If youre worried about your online security, if you just want that peace of mind to make sure that your virtual location isnt being exposed to everybody out there, that wants that information, the nordvpn is a great tool for you to use ive had it on my computer. Now uh for a couple of months i have traveled ive, been in hotels and having that peace of mind is so great to know that you have that extra layer of protection, but it also comes with some fringe benefits because of the way the vpn works. You can set your location in several places around the globe, which also allows you to access different versions of websites, including things like netflix. I said that i have to watch parallel mothers, its not currently available for streaming here in the united states, but through nordvpn.

I can watch it on netflix in a different country. You can access things like the bbcs iplayer. By setting your location to the united kingdom, you can watch all the ad supported shows there that you wouldnt be able to uh if your location was set here in the united states. Its a way for people who are fans of movies and tv shows to have access to even more of those across country lines and its been so great to kind of jump around and say: oh, oh yeah, i can watch this movie here. I can watch this movie there, as a matter of fact, were going to be talking about some of these short films coming up. That were impossible for me to find here in the united states, but because i was able to find sites in countries where i could access those movies. I was able to watch those movies legally on the sites where they are hosted and report back to you with my thoughts. Nordvpn offers security, it offers peace of mind and it offers enhanced options for film and tv fans which, if youre watching this im guessing you fall into that category and right now you can grab your exclusive nordvpn deal by going to nordvpn.com merle or using the promo Code merle at nordvpn.com to get a huge discount off your nordvpn plan, plus one additional month for free and a bonus gift, its completely risk free with nords, 30 day money back guarantee again: thats nordvpn.

com, merle m: u r, r e l, l or use the code Merle for a big discount one month free and a bonus gift, and i want to thank nordvpn for sponsoring. Todays show lets move on now to the best documentary category and i have to admit up front that my favorite documentary from last year, wasnt even nominated at the academy awards its a movie called the rescue and its jimmy chin and elizabeth chai of us or haileys. Follow up to their oscar winning film free solo, the film follows the 2018 rescue of a group of boys trapped in a flooded cave in thailand. You may remember that, from the news its available now on disney plus – and you know, sometimes your favorites dont – make the cut lets look at the movies that were actually nominated and well start with one thats called ascension, which is from documentarian jessica kingdon. She takes us to china, where the population is told that productivity is the only way to lead a truly successful life. This is a documentary thats rooted in cinema. Verite ascension is presented without commentary, as we watch several groups of chinese citizens at work from butlers to bodyguards to factory workers. It kind of reminded me of godfrey reggios katsy trilogy, though through less manipulation of the imagery and, of course, without the philip glass music. In choosing what subjects to show, i think the dissension does make some statements about uh, the hypocrisy and the unfairness of a very small ruling class who basically gets rich off of the literal backbreaking work of a much larger lower class.

And while its interesting to see these scenes, many of them alien even to american workers, i didnt really find the message of ascension to be as powerful as it could have been its a really impressive cinematic achievement and it contains a lot of great imagery. I just wish the movie was able to more effectively wield the power of its images. I would still recommend the movie, though, if you havent seen it its available now here in the united states on paramount plus next up is a documentary called attica from directors, tracy, curry and stanley nelson, which documents the 1971 uprising at attica prison when hundreds of inmates Took over the new york facility holding several guards hostage in order to demand humane treatment. The subject matter here is really interesting, and you have interviews with people who were there on the scene, both as inmates and as people that were trying to observe and negotiate the situation. I liked this movie. I just didnt think it quite took it up to the next level that i see from some of my favorite documentaries. Still, if you dont know anything about the attica uprising, its a very interesting story, its available to stream now on prime video and on showtime, but much like some of the previous categories. When we talk about the movies that i think are likely or most likely to take this award, i would narrow it down to these three uh. This one, i think, is still an underdog, but its a really really good movie and and again talk about a story.

I didnt know about that is so interesting, uh and relevant. Its a film called writing with fire. It is indias first feature length documentary to get an academy award nomination. Writing with fire follows the journalists of kabar laharia, a news agency in india operated entirely by women who belong to the dalit cast labelled by many as untouchables, beginning in 2016, the film chronicles the newspapers transition to digital reporting and its rise in global prominence thanks to Youtube and other digital platforms – if this were a portrait of any journalists, it would be a really inspiring story, as we see them. Taking indian politicians, for example, who are untouchable in a much different way to task as they try to hold elective office. But when you add to the mix that these are dalit, women seen as second class citizens twice over by men and women in the country, this story really does become extraordinary. We watch as some writers grow from shy reporters who have never used a smartphone to hard hitting journalists and, as many reporters navigate not only the social norms of indian culture, but how women are supposed to talk to men all while explaining to their families. Why theyve chosen to work odd hours instead of marrying and settling down writing with fire is a really great story, whether it wins the academy award or not, it is available to rent now on digital platforms. It will also premiere on pbs next week and will be available to stream through them.

Of course, flee due to its trifecta of nominations is a front runner in this category and again in any other year. It would be the front runner, but its not the front runner this year. Theres. Another documentary that has really been sweeping through awards season – and i would say, is the heavy favorite to win the oscar comes sunday night and that is the movie summer of soul or when the revolution could not be televised. Amir questlove thompson directed this documentary covering a forgotten event in music history in the summer of 1969, the same year and even on some of the same days as woodstock. The harlem cultural festival brought music legends to the new york neighborhood over six weekends. Most of this entire festival was recorded and the footage set dormant for decades, mostly due to lack of interest quest, love, resurrects the festival, exploring its cultural relevance, its influence on the community and many of the artists that spring out of it and why the festival has Gone unmarked by historians, despite performances from stevie, wonder sly in the family, stone gladys knight in the pips and more during a crucial era of the civil rights movement. It is in fact very shocking that this footage has sat unseen for decades because it deserves to be in the cultural zeitgeist right up there with those famous moments from woodstock and woodstock, as i mentioned, happened at the exact same time within a year. There was a feature length three hour documentary, a soundtrack album and it was automatically enshrined into culture uh forever.

Really, the idea that cultural milestones were kept from black america is at the heart of this movie, but its also a celebration of these milestones, featuring performances from dozens of musicians at the height of their fame and ability. Summer of soul is a transportational film, a hidden treasure that has been lying undiscovered and as a black musician. Questlove approaches this material with the love and reverence it deserves. Sharing these events with many who have either never seen them or only know them from their memory should summer of soul, win the academy award on sunday night. It will be hopefully another step toward enshrining the 1969 harlem cultural festival where it belongs right up there with the key cultural events of the 1960s, so that covers best international film, best documentary and best animated film. But i also want to cover the three categories that are number one always the hardest to fill out on everyones oscar ballot, including mine and number two part of what has become a huge controversy at this years academy awards. These are all of these short subjects and all three of these categories were chosen to be presented before the academy awards ceremony, with the caveat that the speeches will be featured later in the oscars ceremony. But still we will not see these be announced, live on the show as its happening. It will be pre taped, they say, itll be in front of an audience, but at a time when the audience is still filing into the theater ill, come right out and say it.

This is a dumb ass decision and it seems like its too late to reverse the tide for it this year, i dont usually wish ill upon anything, but i hope that this is a miserable failure and proves to the academy what a mistake this is because this Is supposed to be the night when all kinds of cinema are celebrated? This is the height of the awards season and to sort of say that some categories, including best editing, which is like you, know, im partial because im an editor, but that is one of the key elements of filmmaking. I mean you, cant really have a film thats, not edited to sort of shunt. All these to the beginning of the show and say like well well show highlights from your speech later. You know well cut it down a little bit so technically, when you think about it by talking about these short subjects here, i here in my bedroom, home studio will be devoting more time to the work of these filmmakers than the actual academy, and lets be honest In a lot of the actual academy members – because i watched all of these – and these are some of my feelings on where these categories could go – although these are also very unpredictable – you never know which way its going gon na go. I still havent even really made up my mind about what im gon na predict is gon na win, but these are my thoughts on all of the categories.

Briefly, lets start with the documentary short subject easily. My least favorite of these nominees was one called when we were bullies, which is from filmmaker jay rosenblatt, who explores an incident of bullying when he was a kid. This incident didnt seem to really have a life changing impact on the kid who was bullied or a whole lot of his classmates. But rosenblatt has to make sure that you know exactly how important it was to him and really only to him at the end of the day, he really kind of even puts aside the feelings of the kid who was bullied and says like, but really its about How it made me feel, which is a dumb thesis statement and im kind of surprised that it was nominated. I think this is navel gazing at its worst and its best moment is actually when he tracks down his former fifth grade teacher whos now in her 90s. But gives him some great advice that he just didnt listen to in the film im. Not sure people want to see it, it could be tedious. The next documentary sword is called three songs for benazir, its a short documentary from afghanistan about a young man who dreams of serving in the afghan army after his family disapproves. He faces an uncertain future and this seems like an idea that the documentarians were maybe hoping to make into a feature, but that didnt quite work out its an interesting and heartbreaking.

Look at life inside of an afghan refugee camp. But i dont think that everything really comes together in the end, so that leads me to three that i think are conceivably winners here in this category. The first is called lead me home, which is directed by pedro coss and john shank, and its a tragic look at the homelessness crisis that is ravaging the west coast of the united states. These are harrowing stories and the reason im putting it up towards front runner status is that the academy, many members of the academy face this crisis every single day, probably driving by it out of their nice neighborhoods. My hope would be that kos and shank keep working on this project and develop it into a future, because a lot of these stories deserve endings, happy or otherwise, and the message potential there is really powerful. If i were going to name a top two for this award, one of them is a documentary called audible. It follows the high school football team of the maryland school for the deaf, a dominant athletic program that plays both deaf and hearing teams, as they look to have another championship season. This isnt a sports driven short, though we meet several of the students, including amari, who went deaf after birth and lives in a completely hearing. Family high school is a difficult time for everybody, but audible brings to the spotlight what its like to go through this difficult time of life and already be othered by most people in society.

On top of that – and i really really enjoyed where this film took me – the other front runner is a movie called the queen of basketball, which features lucia harris, a female basketball star who scored the first basket in the history of womens olympic competition back in 1976. She was the most famous female basketball player of her time. Harris reflects on her career, but also in a time when there was no wnba and, despite being at the top of her game, once she was out of college and once she was out of the olympic competition, there was really nowhere to go to apply her trade To work with her skills, so she also talks about her regrets about living in that time, both audible and the queen of basketball are really good, documentaries and other than when we were bullies. I think that theyre all worthy winners, if im gon na project the race, i think right now, i might give audible the slight edge just because with codas nomination, theres already been so much of a spotlight on the deaf community, and here we have another film that Puts forth both the triumphs and the challenges of that community uh in in a really provocative way, so i think that thats got the edge right now, but the queen of basketball is like right behind it. If you want to check these movies out, audible, three songs for benazir and lead me home are currently available on netflix.

The queen of basketball is viewable on vimeo and when we were bullies, is the viewable on youtube. Lets look at the best animated short category here and of the short categories. I think this is probably the weakest of the three. My least favorite was one called affairs of the art. I was not a big fan of it. The animation style is unique and well done so it gets high marks there. I just didnt like the tone or the characters in this one. I dont mind grotesque, but this chronicle of a twisted family made me just want to leave this family and never go back. Not to mention the repeated acts of animal cruelty affairs of the art is very much. Some peoples thing its just not my thing and i dont really think its going to be the academys thing either another one thats very unique, but wasnt quite my thing is one called bestio, which is a stop motion short from chile. It won the annie award for best short this past year, although none of the fellow oscar nominees were competing against it. This one is twisted in its own way, going from banal to shocking its something that a lot of people love and the craft behind this film is undeniably great its just that the story. Didnt really do a lot for me. One that i liked, but i dont know of, is going to win, is box ballet, which is from anton dayakov hes, a russian animator who may pay the awards price for his countrys current war in ukraine.

I liked the 2d animation style, as it tells the intersecting tales of a ballet dancer and a boxer, but like the previous two films, i just dont know if it has the substance to take it all the way to the top. I really think this race comes down to two films. The first of them is robin robin, which is a holiday themed short produced by aardman home of wallace and gromit and sean the sheep. It features the voices of richard e grant and jillian anderson and its about a young, robin whos adopted by a family of mice and tries to learn their sneaking ways if were going for the cute factor and also the most mainstream accessible factor. Then robin robin has this category by a mile and a lot of times when you have perhaps the not the strongest category uh, that is the tiebreaker, especially absent a real just devastating one like last years. If anything happens, i love you. I also think craft wise. This is maybe the most impressive. The stop motion animation is really really top notch, which you would expect from aardman whos been doing this kind of animation for so long. The other film, though, that i could see sneaking in there and taking the win, is one called the windshield wiper, its from an animation veteran in alberto mielgo, its a beautiful short, its a meditation on the meaning of love, and it may inspire enough of a backing From those who actually watch these shorts to bring home the victory because thats the other thing, how many academy members actually watch these shorts, you think all of them, but i dont think thats necessarily the case.

Anything, of course is possible in this race. I think it comes down to the cuteness of robin robin versus the artsyness and and sort of pensive nature of the windshield wiper, well see what i end up. Picking as we get closer to oscar sunday, but upsets happen in these categories, all the time thats. Why theyre so hard to fill out on your ballot, so i could very well be off base, but if you want to see these films and make that determination for yourself, this is probably the hardest to find of all of the different categories robin robin is available On netflix thats, easy, the windshield, wiper and affairs of the art are also available on youtube, so thats, not so hard box. Ballet is viewable as part of the 2021 thomas edison film festival on vimeo. If you can find the right, video and bestia is one where the nordvpn really came in handy because it is available on a site called art, a r t e dot tv. If youre in germany youre able to watch that video uh, if youre not in germany, then youre not able to watch it. But because i could set my vpn location to germany, then i was able to watch uh bestia, which was the last one of all of these, that i had yet to watch uh. So again, another uh advantage there of being able to sort of change your location. I was able to actually see all the animated shorts for this years competition.

Finally, i want to take a look at the live action short competition again going from kind of my least favorite to my favorite theres, one called the dress, which is the only film i take out of the running its from poland, its 15 minutes of really interesting Story and character building that leads right into a slap in the face, its a movie about julia, a little person whos preparing for her first date, and i was on board with her longing and the awkwardness of dating and romance. But then this movie takes a turn which isnt bad in its own right. It just felt like shock for shocks sake, and i dont really know where we were at the end of this movie, uh that we werent at the beginning of this film. It just felt kind of mean – and i know that movies can feel mean but mean to what end, and i think that not just looking through my eyes but through the academys eyes. I dont really know if thats the movie theyre going to choose as the best of the year. Moving on from the dress is a short call on my mind. I could see it winning the sentimental vote, but the competition here in this category is pretty strong. This is a short that hails from denmark and its about a man trying to persuade a grumpy bar owner to let him sing a karaoke song for his wife and as youre watching it.

If you think you know where its heading then youre, probably right, because it headed exactly where i thought it was going to be its a sweet story. If i was going to lob one major criticism at it, it would be that it feels a little slight compared to the rest of the other movies. If it won the academy award. I certainly wouldnt be angry. I just dont think it measures up quite to the level of the other films. One of the three that i really wouldnt be surprised. If it won is called please hold, which is from writer director kd davila. She also wrote a film called emergency that i really enjoyed out of sundance this year set in the near future. A young man finds himself imprisoned when hes placed under arrest by a police drone and taken to jail, which has become the worst freemium experience. Society and capitalism can muster please hold is the most straightforward of all these shorts, which may garner it some votes. It also resembles sort of a black mirror type episode, so i could see it winning just based on the straightforwardness of its premise, the satire uh. It is a relevant film, but it also uh does take some twists and turns, and it was an entertaining watch. I enjoyed this one. Perhaps the most powerful short in the category is called a la cacho taken run. It is from switzerland but takes place in kyrgyzstan. It is a terrifying dramatization of a young woman, whos kidnapped from her new job in the city and forced to marry a stranger in a small village.

She now has to face a life threatening choice between accepting her new life or taking the risk of an escape attempt. This is actually a real life practice that i didnt know anything about that is brought to life in a horrifying, but i didnt think gratuitous faction. If i had a vote, this would be the one that i would cast my vote for and i think in another year it would be the front runner except theres. Another film called the long goodbye which has an x factor going for it, and that would be star power, because this movie features and was co written by riz ahmed, a best actor nominee last year. He is nominated along with anil korea. What starts as a day in the life of a south asian family turns into a nightmare when a white nationalist march winds up at their front door, the long goodbye is powerfully acted by razamed, though his use of the direct to camera. Catharsis in the film reminded me a lot of the movie blind spotting, its also the least subtle of the five movies, which some would say is a negative, but i think some take as a positive when you combine that with riz ahmeds presence. The fact that he put in a very acclaimed performance that did not win last year, then i could see the long goodbye very easily claiming the academy award and again i wouldnt be angry. If it did it just wouldnt, be my personal first choice.

If you want to check these short films out for yourself, the dress and please hold are available on hbo max on my mind. In the long goodbye are available on youtube and a la cachoo take and run is available for purchase on vimeo and that wraps up. My look at these categories, its been a lot of fun doing it this year. This is the first year ever. I think in the history of me watching the oscars, where i will have actually seen every nominated film in every category. So i think this is going to become a yearly tradition and it was also kind of fun hunting down a lot of these shorts and everything else. What do you think? Are you excited for some of these categories? Do you wish that they werent given away before the show, or would you prefer a shorter show without a lot of what are considered to be the smaller categories? Let me know down in the comments below and thank you so much for watching stay tuned, because ive got a review coming up either tonight or tomorrow morning of sandra bullock and channing tatum in the lost city im also going to have leading into the academy awards Ceremony, my personal picks for the oscars, probably on saturday and then stay tuned here on sunday, because ill be here after the oscars to give you all the recaps. My thoughts on the winners and lets say non winners.

So still a lot to do here this week. On the channel, thank you so much for watching be sure to check out the description below for links on how you can hook up with nordvpn, as well as my audio channel uh. You can get everything i do here on the channel and podcast form ill, be back very soon, with more news and reviews.

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