I’m not going to lie: I suck at predicting. No, really, I’m awful at it.
You think you’re bad? I’m worse. In 2006 and 2007, I had the Los Angeles Dodgers not only reaching, but winning – winning! – the World Series. This year, I predicted a Super Bowl of Atlanta Falcons vs. New Jersey Jets. I thought Death Race would be a bad movie, but it turned out to be one of my favorites of recent years.
Having read all that, I hope you can see why prognostications are not my bag. Therefore, I won’t waste your time or mine by telling you who WILL win the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. No, I’ll tell you who SHOULD win.
The Crush. I saw this short – along with Na Wewe, The Confession, Wish 143 and God of Love – at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street. It was great, mostly because of frequent references to westerns, hands-down the greatest genre in the history of film. These references included 8-year-old Ardal Travis’ (Oran Creagh) cowboy boots, the “showdown” poster in his bedroom, and the final, climactic confrontation between Travis and Miss Purdy’s – li’l’ Ardal’s love interest – fiancee.
The western motif, however, wasn’t the only thing that led to my crush on the film of the same name. It was the fact that this short didn’t take itself that seriously; at least, not as seriously as the previous shorts. Hell, between *SPOILER ALERT* Sam and Jacob killing a family of three, then Sam subsequently killing Jacob and lying about it to a priest in The Confession *SPOILER ALERT* and the armed-to-the-teeth prepubescents in Na Wewe, IFC might as well have called this festival “Killin’ Kids.”
The Crush had a healthy sense of humor, aided tremendously by Creagh’s near-Nielsenesque deadpan delivery, which is why it won’t win. The Academy, in an endless quest to legitimize its annual “Hey, let’s pat ourselves on the back” festival, loves to reward serious films. Three out of the five nominated live-action shorts were mostly humorless serious films. So serious, in fact, that me and the rest of my class watching the films last Thursday had to laugh when it turned out that Travis shot Purdy’s fiancee with a toy gun (wait, that might’ve been a spoiler, too), because we were so conditioned to expect another killin’ kid.
Anyway, just as a change of pace they should award The Crush, but they won’t. Don’t bother asking me who will win, though. My track record should speak for itself.
The live-action shorts at ifccenter.com: http://www.ifccenter.com/films/2011-academy-award-nominated-live-action-short-films/
Puzzled about the phrase “Nielsenesque”? This might help: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000558/
Last year’s live-action short film winner, among other things, can be found here: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/82/nominees.html