Your Guide to the Oscar Short Films |

Movies | Oscars 2017

Your Guide to the Oscar Short Films

Before you mark your ballot in the office pool, up your odds of winning by actually watching the short films! To help steer your viewing, our critic gives his take and ranks them from worst to best.

'Feast' (2014), Best Animated Short Film nominee (Disney)

Live Action Short Films

5. Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
Hu Wei and Julien Féret | 16 minutes 
Exotic but static and one-note, this short follows a traveling photographer who snaps portraits of Tibetan families posing in front of odd backdrops. 

4. Parvaneh
Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger | 24 minutes
A tragic odyssey in miniature about a female Afghan refugee, working as a seamstress in Switzerland, who tries to send money home to her family and runs into thickets of red tape. 

3. The Phone Call
Mat Kirkby and James Lucas | 21 minutes
Easily the best-acted film, this two-hander about a hotline worker (Sally Hawkins) consoling a suicidal widower (Jim Broadbent) covers similar ground to the doc short Crisis Hotline. And in this case, truth is strong than fiction. 

2. Aya
Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis | 40 minutes
This drama feels like it could easily be a full-length feature. An Israeli woman waiting at a Tel Aviv airport is mistaken by a Danish man to be his driver…and for some reason, known only to her, she decides to play along. 

1. Boogaloo and Graham
Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney | 14 minutes
The live-action bracket is always a strong one, and this year it’s especially competitive. Set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, this delectably titled domestic tale centers on a rascally pair of blue-collar Belfast brothers who inherit a pair of pet chicks from their irresponsible dad. Mom is less than pleased. The film feels like something Jim Sheridan might make. And while it may not be the most serious of somber short in this lineup, it’s sweeter than a sugar cube and capped by a beaut of a punchline.