Best Live Action Short Film may be the single hardest category to predict. Rarely does a front-runner appear, and even when one does an upset is always a possible scenario. I have a feeling that the winners in this category generally win by slim margins, as the vote comes down to personal preference over cultural or political relevance.
Will Win: Detainment
Could Win: Marguerite
Dark Horse: Madre
Oscar pundit paradise website GoldDerby currently has the odds in this category in favor of Marguerite and Skin. My personal bias against Skin may be swaying my opinion, but I cannot picture it winning over the other four films. Keep my bias in mind, then, as we proceed.
Marguerite, on the other hand, is a quality picture. It is sweet and simple, something that the Academy may like. The feel-good picture wins the Live Action Short category every so often, especially when the other films are more dour, glum, or angry. This is partly why I think Skin and Fauve are out of the race. Both are depressing and hard to watch.
This is not to say that Madre and Detainment are a flowery walk in the park. These are also sad, tense films. But they are, in my opinion, superior productions that stand out for their storytelling and/or technical elements. In a feel-good scenario, four films will cancel each other out in favor of Marguerite.
Otherwise, Detainment smells of Oscar contention. It is a real-life scenario that is singular and inherently dramatic. It has all the trappings, and it is less subtle than Madre. I think Madre accomplishes a lot with its gripping, single-take scene, but narratively it might be lacking to Academy voters. Detainment stands out more openly, in this regard.
As always, thanks for reading!
Like CineFiles on Facebook for updates on new articles and reviews
Check out my page on Letterboxd
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)