On My Mind 8.5/10 Such a simple story across only 18 minutes, “On My Mind” manages to be the most emotionally devastating of all five nominees in such a limited amount of screen time. The performances feel extremely genuine, the pacing is perfect and this short has a huge amount of heart to it. The best of the live action shorts, which should win, “On My Mind” has still been on my mind since I left the theater.

Please Hold 7/10 The most original plot of all the live action short films, “Please Hold” takes a futuristic look at how the progression of technology and lack of human interaction can and will make life more difficult in some ways moving forward. While this might be seen as satire, I fear there is far more truth in this short than most people realize. An entertaining wake-up call with some interesting ideas.

The Dress 7/10 Similar to “On My Mind”, there are some truly heartbreaking elements to this well made, fantastically acted short film. The story of a virgin dwarf who just wants to be normal and feel love(d), the story takes some unexpected turns and surprised me. My only real issue was how abrupt the ending was but the journey there is an emotional one with some relatable themes, no matter your shape or size.

The Long Goodbye 1/10 Every year there seems to be one absolutely egregious entry that gets jammed in to push a false political narrative. Last year it was “Two Distant Strangers” and this year it’s “The Long Goodbye”, which thankfully was the shortest short at only 12 minutes of suffering. A racist film that portrays all whites as evil, xenophobic or complicit, its far left radicalism is on full display from leftist loon Riz Ahmed until we get a cringe worthy rap that breaks the fourth wall to end it. Pure trash from start to finish.

Take and Run 7.5/10 An important story that highlights the abomination that is forced marriage/sex slavery in many Muslim countries, “Take and Run” is engaging, well acted and heartbreaking but brings awareness to an issue that is too rarely discussed in the West. While it ends with some information about how common these horrible practices are, I wish it would have mentioned how the Biden administration’s disastrous handling of the Afghanistan debacle ensures a sharp increase in forced marriages for women in Afghanistan moving forward.

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