Hell on Frisco Bay‘s Brian Darr, who’s seen three of the four Best Documentary Short nominees, believes on a basis of the synopsis that Freeheld, about “a dying cop trying to fight for benefits for her lesbian partner…sounds like it could be the most seductive to Oscar.” The other three nominees are Salim Baba, La Corona and Sari’s Mother.
L.A. Times writer Steve Pond has seen all four. He passed along mini-takes earlier this afternoon:
Freeheld: New Jersey cop dying of cancer, local bigwigs deny her pension benefits to her lesbian
partner. Straightforward style, doesn’t stand out, but it has an uplifting ending and is the one nominee
set in the U.S., which could help.
La Corona: A beauty pageant set inside a Columbian women’s prison. It’s a story you haven’t seen before, but it feels too light compared to the others. This is the only one I’d say doesn’t have much shot.
Salim Baba: Delightful, fresh story about an old guy who pushes a ‘cinema cart’ through the streets of
India, showing ‘movies’ he’s assembled from scraps of discarded film. Shows the power of movies in the
unlikeliest of settings; after seeing them all, I picked it to win. Then I got home and read a wire story about how the guy says he was ripped off by the filmmakers…that could hurt if the story gets around.
Sari’s Mother: Don’t mean to be dismissive of a horrible situation, but it hits a trifecta of Oscar-bait miseries: a mother in Iraq tries struggles get health care for her son with AIDS , and it’s well-made and very, very depressing, which sometimes is just what voters are looking for.”
Final HE comment: It’s hard to see these films. Why aren’t they just being put up for common viewing online? Wouldn’t that be the simplest solution?