OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATION SHORTS – Review by Diane Carson

Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates five short films for the Best Animation Oscar. This year’s compilation offers diversity. From hand drawn to computer animation, with everything from muted to vibrant colors, realistic to surreal scenes, these five Oscar nominees testify to the wide range of subjects and styles gracing animation.

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Deborah Davis talks THE FAVOURITE, Rivalries and the Future – Gill Pringle interviews (Exclusive)

If J K Rowling is frequently held up as a model of persistence – her original Harry Potter manuscript initially rejected by 12 publishers – then The Favourite screenwriter Deborah Davis surely holds a place up there, her own screenplay taking a staggering 20 years before becoming a fully-realized movie. That delayed gratification has made her accomplishment all the more sweet, today nominated for best original screenplay Oscar and BAFTAs.

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OSCAR NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY SHORTS 2019 — Review by Diane Carson

Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates five films for the Short Documentary Oscar. This year’s five contenders are in equal measure heartbreaking and uplifting. Each confronts a calamitous problem, and yet individuals achieve breakthroughs to impressive awareness or astonishingly respond admirably to those in dire need.

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COLD WAR – Review by Diane Carson

Oppressive political policies often come most alive when embedded in strong personal stories. That’s the case in writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War. In 1949 Poland, three workers travel the countryside in a van collecting folk music on audiotape all in honor of the nation. A favored few singers and dancers will be chosen to represent their People’s culture.

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CAPERNAUM – Review by Diane Carson

The title of Lebanon’s submission for a Best Foreign Film Oscar is Capernaum, literally the name of a fishing village on the Sea of Galilea in Biblical Palestine. More appropriate to events in director Nadine Labaki’s film, Capernaum signifies, as the subtitle states, chaos, that is, disorder, a state of anarchical disarray. The twelve-year-old protagonist Zain would surely agree.

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COLD WAR – Review by Marietta Steinhart

Four years after winning an Oscar for best-foreign-language film for Ida, author and director Pawel Pawlikowski has returned with three-time Oscar-nominated Cold War, a meticulously composed story of love shattered by the Iron Curtain, and temperaments. It will break your heart, but never mind: despair has never looked so gorgeous.

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SHOPLIFTERS – Review by Marietta Steinhart (Guest Post)

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters is a tender, strangely powerful and sad exploration of what makes a real family and implies that we often find true compassion among the strangers we encounter in the world. The film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, claimed the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film at Palm Springs International Film Festival and is nominated for a best foreign-language film Oscar.

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