The LAMB Devours the Oscars 2018: Documentary Short

by Jay Cluitt · March 2, 2018 · Featured, LAMB Devours the Oscars · 1 Comment

Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far:

Today, MovieRob is here to look at the nominees for Best Documentary Short.

I’m back for another entry in the LAMB devours the Oscars series, this time, I’ll be looking at the 5 nominees for Best Documentary Short. This is a category that most people skip over when trying to watch films nominated for Oscars. I have actually always enjoyed checking out some of the films in this category over the years because we are usually given some great concise films about important subjects. The fact that the films are almost always under 60 minutes helps them keep a focus on their subject without deviating too much.

Here are this year’s 5 nominees:


This is a film that I heard about a few months ago and have been interested in seeing because of all of the media attention it has received recently. They don’t pull any punches here and show the way of life of an elderly couple and the struggles they have with their own families and with the system that doesn’t necessarily know the best way to help them. Unlike many documentaries that have some kind of agenda, this film shows us the day to day life of this couple and goes in directions that are quite hard to predict beforehand which helps make it that much more interesting. The main issue dealt with here is elder abuse and we get an intimate look at the lives of these two people. This film seems to be hailed as the front runner (largely due to support from celebrities like Cher) and I can’t say that I would be upset if it does end up managing to win the Oscar.

Heaven Is A Traffic Jam on the 405

The title threw me off completely and I got quite a shock when I realized that the title misleads the viewer into thinking that they are about to see something completely different. This film has some great interviews with its subject Mindy Alper. We are able to get a clear sense of who she is and we learn so much about the path of her life. The camera focuses on her really intimately which tries to help us understand who she is and what she has accomplished over the years despite her illness. The film conducts its interviews in a really concise and open manner and we learn so much about her troubled life this way. Mindy is a truly remarkable woman based on what she has managed to accomplish. The biggest problem with this film is that despite the fact that it’s in a category for short documentaries, it’s still too long and it drags too much along the way. Had this film been edited a bit better, it might have been able to become more impactful in the story that they are trying to tell us.


This is a moving film because it deals with a very timely issue and tries to show how it could be possible to combat this epidemic and help rehabilitate those already affected by it. This film shows that there is hope for a future for people who choose to seek rehabilitation. The footage shown in this film can be quite graphic and “in your face”, but that just helps them get the point across as to how dangerous these drugs are and why it is so urgent to try and find a way to help those addicted to these deadly drugs. I liked the way that this film branches out and gives us numerous perspectives of people trying to help those affected because it shows that the attempts to rehabilitate are coming from various sources and not just one lone advocate. If this film manages to win the Oscar, I won’t be disappointed at all because I believe it also would be quite a worthy and deserving winner.

Knife Skills

In my opinion, this is actually the strongest and most moving of the 5 chosen films since it allows us into a world where we get to see how rehabilitating former convicts in a unique way could help them find a stable life. The way that they show how the people involved in this program are truly trying to seek a way to rehabilitate themselves is quite moving and we root for them to actually succeed. This film shows quite an unorthodox way to rehabilitation but it has been shown to have a fairly high success rate which is amazing to see. I will be quite happy if this film manages to win the Oscar next week even though the odds are not so great.

Traffic Stop

It tells the true story of a case of police brutality seemingly for racial purposes alone. They are able to show us the actual footage of the event which is quite interesting to watch because it allows the viewer to form their own conclusions as to what really happened. The problem here is that it doesn’t explore the issues deep enough and we only get a taste of them superficially. This is quite unfortunate since this film missed an opportunity to start a discussion about the subjects touched upon here. Racism, police brutality and of course basic human rights are only touched upon instead of being explored in relation to this story. I believe this happened since they try too hard to just show us the events instead of trying to open a real debate about the various issues. This is the weakest of the 5 nominees in my honest opinion.

So which of these films should win or will win in this category? Personally, I think that Knife Skills is the best film of the 5, but I have a feeling that Edith+Eddie will manage to take home Gold this coming Sunday Night which is still something that I can live with.

Good luck to all 5 of the nominees and remember that it’s an honor to be nominated.

What do you think is going to win?


One Response to The LAMB Devours the Oscars 2018: Documentary Short

  1. […] – LeAnne Lindsay, Tinsel & Tine Animated feature film – Tony Cogan, Coogs Reviews Documentary (short subject) – Rob, MovieRob Film editing – Damien Riley, Riley on Film Foreign language film […]

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