And, let me tell you, this is a tight race.
- Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
- Knife Skills
- Traffic Stop
Will Win: Heroin(e)
Could Win: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Dark Horse: Edith+Eddie
The only short yet to be made available to the public at large is Traffic Stop. But I’ve seen the other four. Plus, Gold Derby currently has Traffic Stop in dead last in terms of odds.
As for the other four, each film has its own strong case to make. Heroin(e) seems primed to take it, given its topical look at the opioid crisis and its emotionally satisfying personal take. This would mark the second year in a row that a Netflix-acquired film wins this award, following The White Helmets from last year. The short also has a similar tonal feel to it as the winner from 2015, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.
There is something compelling about Knife Skills. It is a gripping look at a zoomed-in image of post-parole inmates looking for work. But it also has the directorial vibe of a TV show. Plus its political message is less far-reaching as Heroin(e).
That said, a short that zooms in into an intimate personal story could sway the Academy. Both Edith+Eddie and Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 have this bent to them. Personally, I think Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 has better cinematics and a more engaging narrative than Edith+Eddie, but both accomplish their goals smoothly.
In my eyes, Heroin(e) has the front-runner status, but it is by no means secure. If you’re looking for a good place in your Oscar pool to pick the upset, it’s here.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)