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As I wrote in a previous post about our Cinema Club, I find I am increasingly enjoying seeing films about which I know nothing in advance. Assuming someone has filtered out the bad ones, there is just something enjoyable about being totally open to what is presented.

I experienced this again when I saw the five 2104 Oscar Nominees for Best Short Live Films. These five ranged from seven minutes to 30 minutes in length (total time for all five is 108 minutes). I found two of these five quite absorbing, one, had it ended better, could have been excellent also, and two were just fair, in my unschooled opinion.

In order that you may have the same sense of discovery I had, I will only give the barest outline of each of the five.

2014 Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films ***1/2

Avant que de tout perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) (Xavier Legrand, France): 30 minutes. A story about a supermarket checker faced with a dilemma related to her abusive husband.

Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (Selma Vilhunen, Finland): Just seven minutes in length, this one is about a woman trying to get her family to church in time for a wedding.

Helium (Anders Walter, Denmark): 23 minutes. A story about a young boy in the hospital and a janitor who offers him hope.

That Wasn’t Me (Esteban Crespo, Spain): 24 minutes. This one is about child soldiers, a warlord, and two relief workers in an unnamed African country.

The Voorman Problem (Mark Gill, U.K.): Another short one, this is a story about a psychiatrist who has to evaluate a prisoner who claims to be God.

NOTE: These Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films are different than the Oscar Nominated Documentary Short Program (A & B) Films (reviewed early here). Of these two films, I enjoyed the Documentary Films (especially Program B) more than the Live Action ones.