The 2016 Oscar-Nominated Shorts | Reviewed and Sometimes Endured

The Oscar-nominated shorts are often the broccoli of awards season. Good for you, undeniably good, but the sort of thing you save for last and don’t always enjoy. Every year brings exceptional works of beauty, sometimes even a few chuckles, but for whatever reason the short cinematic form tends to attract filmmakers with painful, heartbreaking, and soul-destroying subjects on their minds.

This year’s Oscar-nominated shorts aren’t the exception. If anything, they’re weightier than ever. One of the animated shorts this year collapsed me into an oozing puddle of tears, and THAT category sometimes qualifies as the Oscars’ dessert. This year’s animated shorts include an overwhelming stark vision of our future, a cute bear whose misery runs like clockwork, an outer space tragedy, the birth of human violence and – admittedly – one superhero team. 

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This year’s live-action shorts include kidnapping, stillbirth, the Occupation of Kosovo, Israelis desperately freeing Arab territory in the Middle East and, admittedly, a nice romance about a guy who stutters.

This year’s documentary shorts are about the ebola epidemic, victims of Agent Orange, Pakistani “honor killings” as well as the death penalty. And do you know how this category gives a a lot of Oscars to documentaries about the Holocaust? This year there is a documentary about a documentary about the Holocaust. Ho-ly crap. 

Find out more about this year’s Oscar-nominated shorts below, as we briefly review and catalogue the nominees for those who may never get to see them. For those who do wish to seek out these films: A) bring a handkerchief, B) you can preview many of them on ShortsTV, and C) they are now playing in limited release throughout the country, so check your local listings.

The 2016 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Reviewed and Endured

Top Photo: Bitter Films

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.