Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017: Live Action

It wasn’t raining hard when I went out to work.  There was a leak in the roof, and someone had to fix it.  It rained while we were working.  Someone wanted me to use Google Calendar to announce which movies I was going out to see.  I haven’t gone to a movie with another person since I went to see “To Catch a Thief” at the Paramount Theatre a while back.  The rain was steady as I went out for a hamburger before walking to the theatre to catch the Oscar nominated live action short films.  The first one was “Sing” from Hungary and was a crowd favorite.  It was about a new girl in school who joins the choir only to face humiliation at the hands of the teacher who tells her to mime the words because her singing isn’t up to par for an upcoming competition.  It had a very moving scene in which she tells her friend what is troubling her.  I thought the children were impressive in their parts in this film.  The second film was “Silent Nights” from Denmark.  It showed a young woman doing volunteer work for the Salvation Army and having a relationship with a poor man from Ghana.  I thought it was difficult that this relationship could progress so quickly, and the ending was not quite right.  Some people who rather die than commit a crime, and would not mistreat a woman.  The racial part of the story is uncomfortable to think about because other people would be treated differently.  The audience sat quietly for this one.  However, they did like “Timecode,” which showed two guards working in a parking structure.  It was light-hearted and amusing, lasting only fifteen minutes.  It was funny, although I thought it would be a longshot for an Oscar.  The film was from Spain.  The fourth film was from France, and it was called “Enemies Within.”  It started with a man applying for French citizenship, and then ending up getting interrogated intensely for terrorism ties.  The film was tense and rather frightening in light of the first month of the Trump presidency.  In a few short minutes, this man is threatened with deportation and is pressed to name names.  The performances from the two principals are very good.  The last film was “The Railroad Lady,” or “The Lady and the TGV” and was from Switzerland.  Its main character was an elderly woman who loves to wave a flag at the train that goes through her town.  She becomes pen pals with the engineer on the train.  She is not one for the use of technology, so she does not use the Internet.  She also runs a bakery that has not done much business in some years.  I think that in another decade and another country the woman could have been Maggie Smith.  The major turn of the plot is quite predictable.  The film wasn’t original, but there was a warm quality to it that I liked.  Of the five films, I think that I would vote for “Sing” to win the Oscar.  I liked all the children.  I returned home and browsed through the record store, and I bought a copy of “Up.”  I watched the Partridge Family episode “Diary of a Mad Millionaire” with John Astin.  I saw Laurie pour some milk but not drink any.  The family had cheeseburgers for one meal.  Some of the people who died on February 19 include Adolfo Celi (1986), Michael Powell (1990), Charlie Finley (1996), Stanley Kramer (2001), Johnny Paycheck (2003), Lionel Jeffries (2010), and Harper Lee (2016).  Today is a birthday for Benicio Del Toro (50), Jeff Daniels (62), and Smokey Robinson (77).

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