2024 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live-Action

2024 Oscar Nominated Short Films - Live Action

2024 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live-Action

Release Date: February 16, 2024
Runtime: 02:24
The 2024 Oscar Nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film

Short films are traditionally an outlet for up-and-coming filmmakers to develop their craft. However, three out of five of the 2024 Oscar-nominated short films feature established stars and filmmakers, including (Selma), Britney Snow (Pitch Perfect, X), and of course a star-studded Roald Dahl adaptation by Wes Anderson (Asteroid City, The Grand Budapest Hotel). The nominees are balanced out by more nuanced short films from Denmark and Canada.

(Misan Harriman, United Kingdom)

The After

The life of Dayo (David Oyelowo) falls apart when his wife and daughter are killed suddenly, as he takes a phone call from work. A year later, Dayo is working a directionless existence as an Uber driver when he comes across a family that reminds him of the one he has lost. The After is a film about overcoming grief, however, I felt that the film ends at a pivotal moment without much resolution. That said, David Oyelowo gives a solid dramatic performance.

3.5 out of 5.0 stars

(Nazrin Choudhury, United States)

Red, White, and Blue

Rachel () is a waitress at a diner struggling to make ends meet. Saving all the money she can, Rachel takes her 10-year-old daughter Maddy (Juliet Donenfeld) across state lines for a critical abortion. Red, White, and Blue seem to be a response to recent law changes in the United States, making abortion illegal in many states. With a heartbreaking revelation, this short comes across as a counter-argument to pro-lifers who insist that all pregnancies be carried to term.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

(Lasse Lyskjær Noer, Denmark)

Knights of Fortune

Karl () arrives at a morgue to grieve for his recently deceased wife. Unable to open the casket, Karl strikes up an unlikely connection with fellow widower Torben (). Named after a song that was a favourite of Karl's wife, Knights of Fortune is a darkly humorous drama about grief and regret. The setting of the film also is perhaps the most depressing-looking morgue, complete with a broken fluorescent lamp, you will ever see.

3.5 out of 5.0 stars

(Vincent René-Lortie, Canada)


Marc () is an inmate at a Youth Detention Centre in Quebec, who has his privileges revoked by his stern supervisor Luc (Ralph Prosper), after an incident setting off the sprinkler system. This results in Marc going on a desperate quest for freedom. Invincible tells the tragic true story of the final 48 hours in the life of 14-year-old Marc-Antoine Bernier. The film contrasts the happiness Marc has during a weekend release with his family to returning to the Youth Centre and immediately having to deal with a sweltering cell with a broken fan. This film says a lot about how the system can fail troubled youth.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

(Wes Anderson, United States and United Kingdom)

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

As narrated by Roald Dahl (), Henry Sugar () is a wealthy man who discovers a notebook about a research study conducted by Dr. Chatterjee () and Dr. Marshall () about a man named Imdad Khan (), who has learned to use “Yoga Powers” to see without his eyes. Henry decides to acquire these powers himself, as a way to cheat at casino card games and amass a fortune. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is the first and longest (running 37 minutes) of four Roald Dahl adaptations Wes Anderson produced for Netflix.

The film is presented in Wes Anderson's familiar style, with each of the characters taking turns narrating the story directly to the audience. It is notable that except for Ralph Fiennes, all the actors in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, many of whom play multiple characters, are collaborating with Wes Anderson for the first time. This is arguably Wes Anderson's best work in quite some time and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is incredibly entertaining to watch.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Trailer for 2024 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live-Action

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.