Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2011: Live Action
"The Crush"

Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2011: Live Action

2011, NR, 102 min. Directed by Various.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Feb. 11, 2011

Catholicism and kids: Narratively speaking, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Two of the films nominated for this year’s Best Short Film (Live Action) dip into the well – the spooky “The Confession,” about a quiet, well-behaved child stymied due to his lack of bad deeds to take to the confession box, and “Wish 143,” in which a terminally ill teenager enlists a priest in the fulfillment of his last wish, to lose his virginity – while a third, Michael Creagh’s “The Crush,” is set in that seat of Catholicism, Ireland, but skips the religion for a pitchy take on kids doing the darndest things (with guns). Guns also figure strongly in Ivan Goldschmidt’s harrowing Belgian production, “Na Wewe,” which takes place in 1994 Burundi (a border country of Rwanda) during the civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis. When a van of travelers is stopped en route by a band of rebel fighters, men with machine guns demand the passengers sort themselves accordingly: “Hutus to the left, Tutsis to the right.” Subsequent infighting between the rebels tips the film dangerously close to farce, but it does a very fine job of dramatizing the terrifying absurdities of war. The final nominee, “God of Love,” swings the pendulum wide to the absurdities of love. Writer/director Luke Matheny’s black-and-white short looks like a student film; indeed, it was his thesis film for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and it’s already bagged a Student Academy Award – but that’s not the only sense in which it’s winning. Matheny also stars; freakishly tall with a pronounced overbite, he makes a likably unlikely leading man. He plays Raymond Goodfellow, a dart champion cum lounge crooner who, pining for his band’s drummer, prays nightly for some assistance in wooing her. Help arrives, and cosmic chaos ensues, but to say any more would step on the gossamer charms of this romantic comedy.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Various Films
New French Shorts
Queer and immigrant stories, satire and romance give new perspectives on French culture

Richard Whittaker, May 15, 2020

2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animated
This year's Academy-loved cartoons push the boundaries of the medium

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 31, 2020

More by Kimberley Jones
We Have an Issue: Under Construction
We Have an Issue: Under Construction
Time to roll up the sleeves and start rebuilding our democracy

Jan. 15, 2021

Austin ISD Announces All Monday Classes Will Be 100% Remote
Austin ISD Announces All Monday Classes Will Be 100% Remote
Following rare Central Texas snowfall, no in-person instruction

Jan. 10, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2011: Live Action, Various

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle