In a way, Oscar nominations are like jazz: To folks who are really invested, the notes that aren’t played are just as important and the ones that are. But in this case, the people and films that don’t get nominated are often just as fiercely debated as the ones that do. (Quick, do a search for “Deadpool Oscar snub.”) The categories that tend to fly lowest under the controversy radar are the short films, which are usually under-seen until a given work is nominated, and the documentary shorts don’t get as high-profile a theatrical exhibition as the cartoons and narrative live action.
Among the highlights of the latter crop is Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy’s Sing — which is not to be confused with the feature-length cartoon Sing, because humanity has officially run out of movie titles. It’s about a young girl (Dóra Gáspárvalvi) who finds it difficult to fit in at her new school, something that’s only made worse when her choir teacher advises her not to sing out loud.
The difficulty of belonging also factors into Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson’s Silent Nights, in which a young Danish woman (Malene Beltoft Olsen) falls in love with a Ghanaian immigrant (Prince Yaw Appiah), but fear begins eating the soul when a dark secret from his past emerges.
Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017: Live Action
Opens Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema, the Opera Plaza Cinema, and the Clay Theater.