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Oscar short-film nominees marked by variety in subject and quality
Oscar short-film nominees marked by variety in subject and quality

As in previous years, the variety of the Oscar-nominated short films — animation, live action and documentary, presented in theaters as separate programs — keeps each collection interesting, even when the quality varies. A rundown of the films: Animation This year's animation crop is the most compact and the most charming. Three of the five winningly compress time. In the two-minute lark "A Single Life," a mysterious vinyl record seems synched to a young woman's life span. Daisy Jacobs' stop-motion, hand-painted "The Bigger Picture" drolly, surrealistically parses two adult brothers' care for their elderly mother. And...

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