Part I: Shorts and Sound
This first group will focus on the five categories that are usually the toughest to call as they are either short films not easily viewed by most people or they are those two lovely sound categories, one of which notoriously resulted in a tie last year. Nonetheless, I leave no category behind.
1. Best Short Film (Live Action) – Nominated films are:
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everytthing)
Pitaako Mun Kalkki Holtaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything)
The Voorman Problem.
Aquel No Era Yo has production qualities worthy of a feature length film and shows the harshness of the lives of African child soldiers through the eyes of Spanish relief workers. Avant Que De Tout Perdre and Helium both work off of the backdrop of an abusive marriage. Avant Que De Tout Perdre is the better one; it is a French film depicting a mother and her children seeking refuge from her abusive husband in the supermarket where she works. Pitaako Mun Kalkki Holtaa is a welcomed comedy among the somewhat bleak nominees, but the Finnish film pales in comparison. Lastly, there is The Voorman Problem. A cross between Silence of the Lambs and Catch-22, Great Britain’s The Voorman Problem is an intriguing concept and has one thing the others don’t have, a recognizable name in its star, Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Hobbit). I predict it is that final element that pushes it into the winner’s circle.
The Peoples Critic selection for who WILL win: The Voorman Problem
Who SHOULD win: Aquel No Era Yo
2. Best Short Film (Animated) – Nominated films are:
Get a Horse!
Room on the Broom
Last year, Pixar produced the slam dunk winner in Paperman. This year is a bit more tricky. While Pixar did not produce a nominee, Walt Disney Studios did. Unlike with live action short, story – while important – holds less weight than style here. Feral has a real shot. Its imaginative and spooky imagery surrounding a boy found in the woods and brought back to civilization is very strong. However it, like Mr. Hublot and Possessions are slightly darker in content than Disney’s Get a Horse and its best competition, an adaptation of the children’s story Room on the Broom. I like the lighter films for this category, and I like the nostalgic Mickey Mouse romp to kick the witch, dog, and cat off their broom.
The People’s Critic selection for who WILL win: Get a Horse
Who SHOULD win: Room on the Broom
3. Best Documentary (Short) – Nominated films are:
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
Five words can sum up the five nominees for best documentary short subject: Obsession, bigotry, tragedy, inspiration, and eerie. Last year’s nominees were certainly not as diverse as this year’s. This year it will likely be a battle between Karama Has No Walls and either Facing Fear or The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. Number 6 is inspiration defined, depicting the world’s oldest pianist doing her thing at 109. However, Karama is clearly the most important of the bunch. In this case, I choose important over sentimental (hopefully learning from my sentimental losing choice last year).
The Peoples Critic selection for who WILL win: Karama Has No Walls
Who SHOULD win: Karama Has No Walls
4. Best Sound Mixing – Nominated films are:
5. Best Sound Editing – Nominated films are:
I’ve decided to deal with these two together since most people are unaware of their differences and due to that nasty little tie between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall in the Sound Editing category last year. Sound editing is the art of recording sound effects, background music, as well as sound creation. Sound mixing is taking all of the sounds recorded and needed for a film, along with the dialogue, and putting it all together, adjusting the levels, etc. It is fitting that the nominees of these two categories are nearly identical. Traditionally, I go along with the theory that more times than not, the film that wins one will win both. However, this year I will make an exception. Last year, Les Misérables won the mixing category, and another lone musical is nominated this year as well with Inside Llewyn Davis. Davis is also a great film notoriously snubbed in other deserving categories; look for it to win where it can.
The People’s Critic’s selection for who WILL win – Sound Mixing: Inside Llewyn Davis
The People’s Critic’s selection for who WILL win – Sound Editing: Gravity
Who SHOULD win – Sound Mixing: Inside Llewyn Davis
Who SHOULD win – Sound Editing: Gravity