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Oscar-nominated short films show up at local theaters

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And the shorter award goes to …

The Details

OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORT FILMS
February 15 & 22, various times, $10.
Century Orleans, Santa Fe, South Point, Suncoast.

The Academy Award nominees in the short film categories are often bolder and more diverse than the nominated feature films, and once again Vegas audiences have the chance to catch them in theaters before the ceremony airs on ABC on February 24. Both the animated and live-action shorts will be in local theaters, and both programs feature movies that are worth seeing.

The animated program is a little more low-key, with a lineup of five completely dialogue-free movies. They range from sweet and whimsical love stories (the clever stop-motion Head Over Heels; the lush black-and-white Disney production Paperman, which played in theaters along with Wreck-It Ralph) to less sentimental fare (the Simpsons short The Longest Daycare, which also had a theatrical release; the brief, abstract Fresh Guacamole). Paperman, with its high production values, Disney pedigree and unabashed romance, is the likely winner, although I found Head Over Heels more affecting.

The live-action program contains more typical Oscar bait, including two rather dour social-issue dramas (Asad, about a child in Somalia, and Buzkashi Boys, about children in Afghanistan), but it also features the inventive steampunk-ish fantasy Death of a Shadow and the well-acted comedy-drama Curfew, about a suicidal man reconnecting with his family. It would be great if the award went to one of those two, but the Academy is more likely to pick one of the message movies. Check out all the shorts to make your own picks.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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