86th Academy Awards
Nominated for 1 award, which it won.
Won Best Live Action Short Subject (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson).
Watched May 5, 2014.
I am not surprised that Helium won this year’s Oscar. It was cute, touching, well written, and used all twenty three minutes of running time very well. The short film explores the power of imagination (no wonder it won, right?).
Alfred (Pelle Falk Krusbæk) is a young boy who is dying. A new hire at the hospital, the janitor Enzo (Casper Crump) takes a liking to the boy and in seeing his loss of hope and pessimism towards his fate and what happens after death, he creates an imaginary world called Helium that captures more than one heart. Despite his failing health, Alfred’s fear is eased and his mind opens up to find joy again.
The length of the film was perfect. There was not a minute wasted, and yet if it had been longer it would have lost all of its power. There is little back story (what is Alfred dying of? Where did Enzo work before this and why does he have so much compassion for this particular boy?), but its mysteries strengthen its ending.
Everything came together to bring home the win for this short. I definitely recommend it, although don’t expect much humor.