Stars in Shorts (2012)
3 out of 5
The carnival-barker title of Stars in Shorts is practically begging for an exclamation point, but its appeal to name recognition makes commercial sense: it’s an attempt to position short films as something other than film festival fodder or the things that screw up people’s Oscar ballots. The seven-film anthology is a noble experiment that seeks to build on the success of the annual programs of Academy Award-nominated shorts (compilations of the contending live action, documentary, and animated shorts have been arthouse staples since 2006). It’s also a bold inversion of the short film tradition, which has historically been a showcase for new writing and directing talent. Those glimpses of creative vision are indeed present across the whole of Stars in Shorts, though they are a bit harder to see due to the hit-and-miss quality and haphazard organization of its individual pieces.