Oscar-nominated shorts | Chicago Reader

Oscar-nominated shorts

Two programs of shorts nominated for the 2006 Academy Awards. In the animated category the hands-down best is Anthony Lucas's mostly black-and-white The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, which marries the silhouette animation of Lotte Reiniger to the elegant geometry of 19th-century machinery. Morello, a disgraced navigator of fantastic floating airships, gets a chance to redeem himself by signing on to an expedition with a grasping biologist. Of the live-action shorts the most impressive is Martin McDonagh's Six Shooter, with Brendan Gleeson as a grieving widower who finds himself stuck on a commuter train with an obnoxious Irish lad, though close on its heels are two comic shorts: Rob Pearlstein's Our Time Is Up, about a brusque psychologist (Kevin Pollak) who learns he has six weeks to live, and Sean Ellis's Cashback, about an art student who survives his tedious night shift at a supermarket by stopping time so he can sketch the unsuspecting customers.

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