From an emotional standpoint, the New York family saga “Curfew” is the standout in this race. Writer/director Shawn Christensen also stars as Richie, a suicidal former drug addict who has just slit his wrists when he gets a call from his estranged sister Maggie (Kim Allen). Maggie desperately needs a baby sitter for her precocious 9-year-old daughter Sophia (Fatima Ptacek), whom Richie hasn't seen since she was a baby. Between the strong performances and the impromptu Talking Heads dance party at a dingy bowling alley, “Curfew” is unforgettable.
But it faces stiff competition from the category's most inventive entry, the thoughtful Dutch sci-fi drama “Death of a Shadow.” In a steampunk afterlife, Nathan (Matthias Schoenaerts), a soldier who died in World War I, is unwillingly employed by a creepy collector (Peter van den Eede) to capture the shadows of 10,000 dying people. If he fulfills his mission, Nathan hopes to get the chance to reunite with Sarah (Laura Verlinden), the compassionate beauty he met just before he left the mortal coil. Writer/director Tom Van Avermaet's twisty tale keeps you guessing while delving into big issues like life, death and love.
The 85th Annual Oscars will be handed out Feb. 24 and air on ABC. As part of its Oscar Tune Up, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is showing all five nominated live-action short films at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Feb. 22-23, and 3 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 24 at its Noble Theater, 415 Couch Drive. For more information, go to www.okcmoa.com/see/films.
— Brandy McDonnell
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Live-action short films
Films: “Asad,” “Buzkashi Boys,” “Curfew,” “Death of a Shadow” and “Henry.”
Now playing: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Feb. 22-23, and 3 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 24 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. For more information, go to www.okcmoa.com.