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Oscar doings: Friday begins the showing of this year’s Oscar-nominated short films, both animated and live action, at the Ken Cinema. Short films, at their best, have the same compact virtues as short stories, and here you have a gathering of contenders for that designation of “best.”

The animated fare features a pleasing range of styles, though it’s hard to imagine the prize going to anything besides Pixar’s La Luna. Cars 2 may have been a stumble, and Brave may look to be verging into the overcrowded field of Kickass Heroines, but the studio still understands the magic unique to animation. A little boy helps his father and grandfather to sweep the moon — what more do you need to know?

On the live-action side, Tuba Atlantic may wind up being one of the best things I see all year. A heartfelt mix of Wes Anderson’s earnest whimsy and David Lynch’s The Straight Story, set along the frozen coast of Norway. I was overwhelmed.

Reviewed in the movie capsules: Chronicle.

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