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Posts Tagged ‘“Sister”’

2019 OSCAR-NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY SHORTS  Overall rating: B+ 

Once upon a time animated shorts were simple amusements.  No longer…at least not if this year’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts are any yardstick.
Here we have five brief films. A couple are charming. Cute, even.  You might get a chuckle or two.
But none of them are overtly comic, and in fact most deal with dead-serious issues. A common theme is familial relationships (parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings). Three of these movies have no dialogue at all; the remaining two are in foreign languages.  What this means is that viewers have to pay attention…no falling back on words to explain what’s going on.
But here’s the thing…on one level or another each of these nominees is an emotional workout.  You will cry.  I repeat: You WILL Cry.
You’ve been warned.

“HAIR LOVE” (USA, 7 minutes)  My rating: B+

Childlike yearning, parental concern and family crisis merge effortlessly in Matthew A. Cherry’s “Hair Love,” which finds a young African American girl coming to terms (well, sort of) with her unruly head of hair.

It starts out almost like a classic Disney cartoon with our little heroine interacting with her cat, a fussy creature who seems utterly disdainful of her mistress’ issues. But some sort of big day is approaching, and our girl is determined to look her best.  To that end she goes into the bathroom and —  armed with a sheet of photos of current Afro-centric hair styles, scissors, combs, brushes and unguents — attempts to do her ‘do.

It’s a disaster. When her father discovers what’s going on he intervenes. But let’s face it…dads are rarely great at their little girls’ hair, and this dad is combatting an unruly Afro that seems to engulf him in an explosion of ever-expanding follicle. After some comic confrontations, though, the father-and- daughter team get the job done, just in time for an emotional reunion.

“DCERA  (DAUGHTER)”   (Czech Republic, 15 minutes) My rating: B

“Daughter” opens with the beeping of a medical monitor; we find ourselves in a bedroom where a man lies dying. His adult daughter stands at the foot of his bed.

 Daria Kashcheeva’s film is rendered with what appears to be classic stop-action animation. The man and his daughter have been very roughly rendered — it’s almost as if their heads were carved from blocks of wood — and they move through a detailed environment.

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