Oscars 2023: Best Live Action Short Predictions

The 2023 nominees for the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar are overall more hopeful than what the Academy has gone for in the recent past.
Le Pupille
"Le Pupille"

We will update these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2023 Oscar picks. Final voting is March 2 through 7, 2023.  The 95th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

See IndieWire’s previous Oscars Predictions for this category and more here.

The State of the Race

A glance at some of the most recent Best Live Action Short winners shows that the Academy’s taste for films within this category tend to be a bit grim. That’s not to say that films should not be challenging — often, that’s the type of short that succeeds with Oscar voters — but it is somewhat reassuring that not every nominee in this year’s batch needs to come with a trigger warning.

“Le Pupille,” from celebrated Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher, happens to be streaming on Disney+, which is enough of a hint that the film about young girls at a Catholic boarding school is one the whole family can watch. (But Rohrwacher does not shy away from adding on some dark humor.) Executive produced by two-time Best Director winner Alfonso Cuarón, “Le Pupille” would be a change of pace should it win Best Live Action Short, but it seems like that’s welcome this year.

“Ivalu” actually fits well into the kind of film expected to garner voters’ attention in this category, which makes even more sense knowing it comes from director Anders Waller and producer Kim Magnusson (a perennial nominee), who re-teamed to make it after winning the Best Live Action Short for their film “Helium” in 2014. The story of a young Inuit girl searching for her missing sister both skillfully touches on sensitive subject matter and stuns viewers with its picturesque shots of Greenland.

However, all signs point to Ireland being the country Oscar voters have fallen in love with in 2023. “An Irish Goodbye” has the same fecking vibe as Best Picture contender “The Banshees of Insiherin,” a mixture of humor and heartbreak, but ends on a note that leaves viewers wanting more (in a good way). Similarly, “The Red Suitcase” concludes in a slot designed to make viewers wonder what is next for the protagonist. That’s an element that works in many shorts’ favor, but also could cause voters to overlook the two films for seeming too much like a TV pilot, or a proof of concept for a longer feature, rather than a purposeful short.

Finally, “Night Ride” is maybe the least successful at balancing emotional heft and levity, but that would be splitting hairs. Like “Le Pupille,” it is set as Christmastime, and like “An Irish Goodbye,” it provides meaningful representation of people with disabilities, but the way in which it captures a vehicle heist is delightfully unique.

Nominees are listed below in order of likelihood they will win.

“Le Pupille”
“An Irish Goodbye”
“The Red Suitcase”
“Night Ride”

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