Official Selection 7: Best Laid Plans

Official Selection 7: Best Laid Plans
For the most part, this grouping of shorts does as the title suggests by exploring the outcome of bad decisions. Many of them deal with relationship woes, while others deal with the shaping of identity that comes from memory and the pain of loss. And aside from some Scandinavian self-indulgence and the usual gimmicky, but lame, entry, this proves to be a thoughtful, affecting collection of titles.

Les Poissons starts out this segment with a lyrical, dreamlike sensibility, mixing sound with visuals harmoniously as three girls gather before setting out into the world. It's like Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, only five minutes, without pants and not lame.

Also strong is Hey, George, wherein a young woman pressures her socially awkward boyfriend into attending a New Year's party hosted by her friends. Aside from the inevitable passive-aggressive manifestation coming across a little "rapist," this one builds tension quite effectively and is anchored by the natural chemistry and acting talents of the charismatic leads, Nathanael Chadwick and Worldwide Short veteran Meredith Cheesbrough.

34 Suns and One Moon does the answering machine message as haunting reminder of those past shtick, which has become a bit of a cliché in the mourning genre, but it's still well executed, while Born and Raised features a Bohemian Dutch musician composing a song for his expected baby. Meh.

Acting as a wake up call to those in passionless, routine relationships, The Man who Slept animates a woman realizing what she's missing in life while her husband sleeps. It transitions well into Choice Night, wherein a young man chooses a night with his buddies at a strip bar over a quiet night with his crush, leading to the expectedly upsetting outcome.

Thankfully, this touching and thoughtfully rendered short resonates, while Surface Film does the experimental by filming the world from beneath our feet. It's all so pointless and mundane, man. We just need, like, perspective.

Overnight Stay offers simple animation to enliven a recollection from an 83-year-old woman about an act of kindness during WWII, while Sincerely Yours drones on indulgently about a filmmaker's aunt, father and neighbour. At least there are close-ups of bird shit.