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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' February 22-24

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Canadian director Jeremy Comte has earned 65 festival awards since premiering "Fauve." The film is now nominated for an Academy Award.

The weekend of one of America's most anticipated film-award shows has finally arrived. While we wait for the directors, designers, and big name celebrities to hit the red carpet for the Oscars, there's still a little time to see the short films that were nominated — you can catch them at Tivoli Cinemas in Kansas City and Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics share their reviews on the selected shorts, and get you ready for the Academy Awards. 

Steve Walker

"Capernaum," R

  • This extraordinary Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Film from Lebanese director Nadin Labaki opens with a 12-year-old boy asking a judge to let him sue his parents for being born, then flashes back to the complicated circumstances that prefaced his request.

2019 Oscar Nominated Short Film Showcase: Documentary Shorts

  • A strong collection examining such subjcts as end of life care, the refugee crisis in Europe, and a chilling, prescient peek at a Nazi rally held in New York in 1939.

2019 Oscar-Nominated short films: Live Action Shorts, R

  • This year's harrowing nominees center around a theme of imperiled children: "Fauve," about two boys whose playful hijinks turn tragic; "Detainment," a controversial British film about two 10-year-olds suspected of murdering a toddler; "Mother," where the title character's phone call with her 6-year-old grows ever more frantic; and "Skin," showing the unsurpising result of being raised by white supremacists. 

Cynthia Haines

"Capernaum," R

  • A troubled boy who lands in jail after running away from home and commiting a violent crime asks a judge to let him sue his own parents for their failure to look after him. 

2019 Oscar-Nominated Short Film Showcase: Documentary Shorts

  • These worthy nominations take on a host of agaonizing topics from the past and present: In "Lifeboat," the desperate voyage of refugees as they seek a new beginning; "End Game" shows the heart-wrenching planning that goes into end-of-life care; and in "Black Sheep," a Nigerian family moves to Essex in hopes of leaving racism behind but find themselves in an apartment complex full of racists. 

2019 Oscar-Nominated short films: Live Actions Shorts, R

  • These short selections center on choices that land children in jeopardizing situations: In"Skin," bloodshed ensues after a black man upsets a group of white supremacists; in "Detainment," the suspects in the kidnapping of a two-year-old are children themselves; "Fauve," shows the consequences of two boys' reckless behavior in the great outdoors; and "Mother," documenting a mother's frantic quest to save her missing child.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.