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Arts and Entertainment

The Oscar-Nominated Short Films of 2009

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Silly rabbit! Tricks are for bad magicians. Photo courtesy of Pixar

I recently had the privilege of plopping myself on the sofa for an evening with a glass of wine in one hand and a bowl of chocolate ice cream in the other (and for once it was completely unrelated to my secret addiction to Lifetime Television's empowering melodramas). Indeed, this time was different. This time was all about the Oscars, baby, and in particular the Oscar-nominated live-action and animated shorts. I was fortunate enough to preview all of the wonderful flicks this year and, I have to admit it was ultimately very hard to choose one or two favorites -- they were all (with the exception of a few bad eggs) charming in their own way.

From the get-go, I had my initial favorites. On The Line, by director Rito Caffi, was the first of them. Gritty, but gently moving at the same time, this story will strike an emotional chord in all of us, particularly in those who have ever made a split-second decision that they lived to regret. In the opening scene, we meet Rolf (Roeland Wiesnekker) a brooding, bearish man who is fascinated by a beautiful, but naive woman named Sara (Catherine Janke). Sara is unaware of Rolf's true intentions until their circumstances shift and they become connected for life in ways they never anticipated. On the surface this is a love story, but the characters and the underlying message go much deeper than that all within the impressive span of about thirty minutes.