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The Cricket
Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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A tinker gets lost in the woods in Shuhei Morita's anime-style film "Possessions," one of the nominees for the Animated Short Oscar. Courtesy Shorts International
Oscars ’14: Predictions, part three - The shorts

The short-film categories are often the great mysteries of the Academy Awards, because the general audience has never seen a short film.

So if you haven’t seen any of the nominees, take the day off and go see the animated and live-action nominees playing today and Thursday at the Tower Theatre, 876 E. 900 South. (The documentary-short nominees played there earlier this month.)

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Here, in part three of The Cricket’s Oscar predictions, are his picks in the short-film categories.

The Cricket predicted the technical categories on Monday, and the craft categories on Tuesday. The specialty features (animated, documentary and foreign-language) will be covered Thursday. The major categories will get their due Friday, on this blog and in the print edition of The Salt Lake Tribune (or you can take a peek now).

The Cricket will be live-tweeting the Oscar ceremony (which starts at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time, with the pre-show red carpet coverage starting on ABC at 5 p.m.) on Sunday, at @moviecricket.

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Animated short film

The nominees are... • "Feral," by Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden; "Get a Horse!," by Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim; "Mr. Hublot," by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares; "Possessions," by Shuhei Morita; "Room on the Broom," by Max Lang and Jan Lachauer.

What will win • M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-Eeeeeee! "Get a Horse!," the clever homage to the mouse’s early days (complete with voice work by Walt Disney himself), is the runaway favorite. (This short played in theaters before "Frozen.")

What should win • The anime-style fantasy of "Possessions" is eye-popping.

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Documentary short film

The nominees are • "CaveDigger," by Jeffrey Karoff; "Facing Fear," by Jason Cohen; "Karama Has No Walls," by Sara Ishaq; "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," by Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed; "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall," by Edgar Barens.

What will win • Hard to bet against the warm and sentimental "The Lady in Number 6," a life-affirming profile of concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who was the oldest survivor of the Holocaust at the time of this film’s making. (She died last weekend in London, at the age of 110.)

What should win • The immediacy of "Karama Has No Walls," which takes viewers inside the bloody massacre of protesters in Yemen’s Independence Square, is too strong to deny — even if the raw footage is sometimes too hard to take.

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Live-action short

The nominees are... • "Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)," by Esteban Crespo; "Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)," by Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras; "Helium," by Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson; "Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)," by Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari; "The Voorman Problem," by Mark Gill and Baldwin Li.

Who will win • A coin-flip between the most sentimental entry (the Danish drama "Helium," about a hospital janitor befriending a dying boy) and the one with the most recognizable stars ("The Voorman Problem," a comedy starring "The Hobbit’s" Martin Freeman). Give it to "The Voorman Problem," which also happens to be the only one of the five nominees that’s in English.

Who should win • The French drama "Just Before Losing Everything," a tension-filled story of a woman (Léa Drucker) trying to gather her children and escape an abusive husband.



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