Academy Award-nominated shorts will broaden your film options

By Bob Bloom
The 2014 crop of Academy Award-nominated shorts in the animated and live-action categories are an eclectic group of films worth seeing.
It’s s a shame that the vast majority of filmgoers only get one chance a year to see these films, when they usually are screened in one program at variousthe dam keeper art theaters around the country.
For Hoosiers close enough to drive to the Landmark Keystone Arts Cinema in Indianapolis, the trip is a worthwhile excursion.
The 10 films — five animated and five live-action — are interesting, with some eclipsing others in content and style.
Some try to be artful, while others just aim to entertain, but overall these shorts are captivating.
Of the animated shorts, my favorite was “The Dam Keeper,” an 18-minute allegorical story that touches the heart. “A Single Life,” a two-minute offering from the Netherlands is charming.
The other entries, “Feast,” “The Bigger Picture” and “Me and My Moulton” are interesting.
Among the live-action offerings, I was impressed with “The Phone Call” from the United Kingdom. It starred Sally Hawkins as a crisis center worker and Jim Broadbent in a voice role as a suicidal man who calls her.
“Boogaloo and Graham,” an Irish entry, is touching and funny.
The other films are “Aya,” “Butter Lamp” and “Parvaneh.”
All of these artistic endeavors will help broaden your horizons about movies and showcase talents from around the world.
Plus, if you see them, it will impress your friends on Oscar night if you gather to watch the ceremony as you will be fluent about these nominees.
So, if you get the chance, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at Reel Bob ( and The Film Yap ( He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: