Remember that scene in 'Gravity', where Sandra Bullock, completely defeated by desperation, finds herself stranded in Russian space capsule with no fuel and shattered hope? It is in that moment where I feel like Bullock sealed her Oscar fate (she could even win for this) and it is in that moment that she stole my heart. Broken and alone, she finds slivers of solace in a male voice she encounters over radio waves, and through their disjointed conversation (the voice speaks another language and they encounter obvious communication barriers) Bullock's character, Dr. Stone, is reminded of her personal conviction to survive. It is my favorite moment in the film (her line "I'm going to die today" still buries me, even in here where you can't see her face) and that scene just got some special treatment.
Jonas Cuaron, Alfonso's son, has directed a short film to be submitted to this years Oscars that visualizes the other end of that conversation. It is a short scene (the film is only 7 minutes long, and that includes the credits) but it fleshes out that sequence and adds a beautiful weight (if not an obvious one) that I think is a perfect compliment to the film itself.
I wholly expect this to be an extra on the DVD.
The big talking point here is that if Oscar actually nominates 'Aningaaq' (the name of the man on the other end), then it will be making history. This will be the first time that a spin-off 'short film' is nominated alongside the feature film, and we all know that 'Gravity' is a lock in the Best Picture category. If the film wins, and so does Alfonso in Director, it will be another Oscar moment to have this father and son pair BOTH win Oscars on the same night.
Please make this happen!
Now, the question arises; doe the short film deserve the Oscar recognition?
This is a tough one for me. Within the context of what it is, which is an extension of his father's masterpiece, I'd say that it does. It folds in such a beautiful layer of emotion and adds to my favorite scene in the film. It wouldn't have worked IN the film, because it would have taken you out of the magical atmosphere that Alfonso created, but as a separate extension, it has it's own atmosphere and identity.
This is all fine and dandy when you consider it's origins, but if you judge the film solely on it's own merits, the film doesn't really carry much. Stripped of 'Gravity', 'Aningaaq' is almost too short and seemingly vacant. You need the impact of the feature film to give any sort of credence to this short scene. Visually, it's stunning (such a sharp contrast in light to the darkness of 'Gravity', and I can only imagine that that was intentional), and emotionally, it moved me, but it's a thin line to be honest.
And yet, I'm all for it taking gold if we can have a father~son moment at the Oscars!
You can catch all 7 minutes here. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as well. I have a feeling that Oscar will bite, especially considering how much they are bound to love 'Gravity', and rewarding this will essentially be a reward for that film as well.