Ivalu 3/10 The story of a missing girl in Greenland with a father who doesn’t seem to care but a sister desperately searching for her, “Ivalu” mainly fails due to its 16 minute running time. With such a limited amount of screen time, there is no development for the missing girl or even both sisters’ time together. Therefore, we don’t really care about her since we don’t know her. The short film is completely uneventful, dry and slow. Besides some beautiful cinematography and strong performances, this is largely a waste of time.

Night Ride (Nattrikken) 1/10 Another (thankfully short) waste of time, this undeserving short film from Norway is only nominated for checking diversity quotas (the two main characters are a midget and a trans “woman” AKA a dude) and not due to the quality. The midget highjacks a tram, makes dumb decision after dumb decision as we of course see the trans “woman” getting bullied in the most cliché way possible as the two outcasts form a bond together. There is no one to root for as characters are either criminals, degenerates or bullies and the short film wreaks of woke virtue signaling.

Le Pupille 4.5/10 The story of an all girls Catholic boarding school on Christmas Eve, “Le Pupille” runs way too long at 37 minutes and only feels like it got nominated because Disney and Alfonso Cuarón backed the short film. While the performances largely work, the setting/time period is unique and there surprisingly seems to be some moral messages (even if they can’t be named at the end of the short film), “Le Pupille” still ends up mediocre in the end. There are odd editing/directorial decisions, too much breaking the fourth wall which doesn’t work at all and the short film ends up poorly paced and forgettable. While better than the first two short films, this still isn’t worth your time.

The Red Suitcase 8.5/10 Easily the best short film of the bunch, “The Red Suitcase” follows an Iranian, underage, Muslim girl being sold off for marriage by her father to a much older, wealthier man. With Biden’s horrendous and deadly Afghanistan withdrawal still leaving millions of women in these situations, the short film feels timely and relevant. There are several tense moments as the young girl is trying to flee from the airport where she lands and avoid her potential husband/owner. You will get a real sense of urgency and danger than many Muslim girls unfortunately face and the direction is incredibly strong, particularly with some of the focus on airport advertisement imagery.

An Irish Goodbye 7/10 The only other short film worth watching and runner up for best short film of the five (and now Oscar winner), “An Irish Goodbye” follows two estranged brothers, one with Down Syndrome, as they come together to grieve their mother’s passing. The short film is full of heart but has great comedic moments to balance out the more depressing elements. While the biggest problem with the short film is the priest character who feels completely unrealistic and his attempted comedic moments don’t work, the scenes between the two brothers feel authentic and at 23 minutes long, the running time is perfect. It’s long enough to develop the characters but not too long to overstay its welcome.

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