Does this mean we're not getting a dog

Several years ago, we started a fun family tradition of seeing all of the Oscar nominated short films over one weekend. Delaware’s first independent theater shows them over one weekend in February. It’s always a busy weekend. When we first started, Billy was a double lawyer for his high school mock trial team, and the team is always in the heat of weekend practices and Skype sessions in February. Now Becky is the double lawyer. This year we saw the live action shorts on Saturday after practice and then we saw the docs and animated both on Sunday - five and a half hours of short films in one afternoon! :)

I thought all of the films were very good this year, which is unusual for me. I usually find at least one of each not to my liking, and most years I hate at least one of the animated ones.

In the order I saw them…

Live Action


After I saw this one, I thought it would be tough for the rest to match it. Compelling story and characters we learn to care about very quickly - and who surprise us a few times.

Butter Lamp ( La Lampe au Beurre de Yak )

The weirdest of the bunch, but it might be my favorite. I loved the fixed camera, parts of the story being told off-screen, and the message in the last shot. Very well done.

The Phone Call

Adorable love story embedded in another adorable love story, but very tense and hard to watch in parts. Gripping.


I was concerned when I saw the length. I almost always think live action films of this length should be shorter or longer. This was different. It was a very interesting premise with a lot of mystery and very well done.

Boogaloo and Graham

The most entertaining of the films. As an Irishman myself, the humor was spot on for me. Loved it!


Me and My Moulton

This was the silly one. Great sense of humor and an interesting look at family life - especially for a family of unusual characters - something we relate to at our house. :)

The Bigger Picture

This was the weird one, but a poignant story about life and family. Very interesting animation style.


I’m a dog lover so I absolutely adored this one. Perhaps not the best film, but almost surely the winner.

The Dam Keeper

A wonderful story about friendship and bullying. My favorite. I would love to see it win.

A Single Life

Highly entertaining look at the brevity of life.


Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Highlights one of the biggest problems facing Americans today. A story that had to be told. I don’t know what it says about America that we send our men and women off to war and don’t give them the kind of real support they need when they return.


In my opinion, this was the best film. All about enjoying life while you can. Highly recommended.

White Earth

I really liked the first young man we hear from in this film. A kid that knows he wants better than he has it now, but who understands what life might bring him. An interesting look at how hard some families work to give their kids a shot at life.

The Reaper ( La Parka )

Very hard to watch for me. Each of us at our house has a different motivation for eating mostly plant based food, but the way animals are treated is my biggest motivation. I watched as much as I could but sometimes averted my eyes so that I could only see the subtitles. As a husband and father, though, I felt myself understanding why the reaper felt he had no other choice. Really touches on the realities of life.

Our Curse

Like Joanna, this was produced by the family that was the subject of the film. As the years go by I think we’ll see a lot more of that, and I think there is some good in that, but sometimes it doesn’t exactly sit right. This was one of those. It was a story I think I would want told if I were living through it, so I guess I’m glad they told it.

The Winners

I’ll predict the winners and share my choices tomorrow.