2023 Oscar Nominated Short Films

Reviewing all of the Oscar nominated shorts has become one of the things I look forward to the most after the nominations are announced. This is the quickest I've ever found all of the shorts to watch before the ceremony. The majority of these shorts are available to watch online. Below are my quick reviews

Best Animated Short

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse - Platitudes: The Movie. C+

The Flying Sailor - Based on the true story of a man in Halifax who was blown 2 kilometers back during an explosion and lived to tell about it. Of the shorts lists, this was not the one I expected to see animated dick in. It's amusing and used several different styles of animation in it's quick 7 minute run time. Respect. B

Ice Merchants -
I LOVE this short. It's so perfect. Lovely hand drawn animation, clever story, a perfect combination of sweet and sad. A+

My Year of Dicks - Oh god, the awkwardness of being a teenage girl that I wish I could forget. I laughed, I cringed, I recognized too many things. On an animation level, it's very messy, so it doesn't quite top Ice Merchants for me, but this was very good. And Academy Award Winner My Year of Dicks has a nice ring to it. B+

An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It - Besides the fun title, this was really clever! It's a fun take on stop motion. It didn't resonate with me the way Ice Merchants of My Year of Dicks did, but I had fun watching it. B

Who should win: Ice Merchants, easy. This is a strong category but that's the one that moved me the most. 

Best Documentary Short

The Elephant Whisperers -
This is a wholesome doc about a couple who raised orphan elephants in India. It was very sweet. Also really makes you examine your privilege when Bellie casually mentions her first husband was eaten by a tiger. Horrifying. B

Haulout - I GASPED watching this. The structure of this documentary is a little strange. It offers no context to what we're watching at all during the majority of its run time. No explanation, it lets the images do the talking then it provides some title cards at the end. I'm split on how I feel about this because I can't deny the doc as it is is VERY effective. B

How Do You Measure a Year? - This was cute and kind of funny that this dude's home video project is up for an Oscar. It felt VERY long though. I would've capped this at 10-15 minutes and not the 30 it is. B-

The Martha Mitchell Effect - Tale as old as time, woman calls man out on shitty behavior and man labels her as crazy. This doc is made of archival footage and thus has no cinematic presence at all. It was hard for me to get in to. I can acknowledge Martha was indeed right, but her politics are also awful so I can't really muster many feelings beyond that. C-

Stranger at the Gate -
This was gross. Basically we follow a recently discharged army vet/Islamophobe who plans to blow up a Mosque because he hates Muslims SO much. (literally his daughter asking him about seeing a classmate's mom in a burka sends him off the rails) but changes his mind because the Muslim community was kind to him and welcomed him with open arms. I get that he feels terrible and wants to make amends. But the way this film is framed, it's as if it's entirely on the Muslim community to be perfect, kind, and welcoming at ALL times or else a crazy redneck might blow them up. I have no idea why this got nominated. F

Who should win: Haulout. Honestly, give the "big reveal" part of this documentary the Sound Oscar as well while we're at it. 

Best Live-Action Short

An Irish Goodbye - What a year it's been for the word "feckin!" This was an okay story about two guys fulfilling their mother's bucket list after she passes. It was sweet enough. B

Ivalu - I was not expecting this short to be so dark. It's beautifully shot, but I felt so cold and sad leaving it. This reminded me of Fauve, a live action short from 2019. You just feel so awful seeing bad things like this happen. B

Le Pupille - This one is on Disney+ and I'm sure it's only nominated because Alfonso Cauron is a producer. I found this to be pretty boring. The set design and costumes were very well done though. C

Night Ride - 10 minutes of this 16 minute short focus on a transwoman being harassed. So much more could've been done with the premise of this story, and instead they chose....this. D

The Red Suitcase - This was so stressful! You could feel the stress and fear radiating off the poor girl in this film. Arraigned marriages are garbage. B

Who should win: This I'm torn on. I think An Irish Goodbye has an edge because it's a comedy. The Red Suitcase and Ivalu could resonate with voters as well though.

Want to see my previous short reviews? Click the "shorts" tag at the bottom of this post!


  1. I'll definitely avoid Stranger at the Gate as it just looks stupid. Sorry you didn't like Le Pupille as I fucking fell in love with it as I can't believe Disney+ would show something by Alice Rohrwacher and in Italian. Please Disney+, more of that shit!

    1. I hope D+ does more of that too! Even if this isn't for me.


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