This 19-minute gem has it all. Hope, despair, black comedy, a bowling alley dance sequence... Sure, the opening with a blood-drenched hand reaching out of the bathtub to answer the phone is a little macabre, but the conversation that follows between suicidal Richie (Shawn Christensen—also writer and director) and his estranged sister is mostly normal and bizarrely comic. Ultimately he agrees to watch his nine-year-old niece, Sophia (Fatima Ptacek), whom he hasn't seen since infancy.
Usually I would rather down a couple bottles of syrup of ipecac than watch the antics of a precocious child actor. But in this film—along with the great script, setting (Manhattan), and other actors—it's Fatima Ptacek that makes Curfew spark.
As 2013 Oscar-nominated live action shorts go, Death of a Shadow has my vote for artistry, but Curfew wins my heart. (As for the other three, here's my curtest of reviews: don't bother.)
If you check out the trailer below, you'll discover that Curfew is worth staying up late for, or spending the $1.99 to purchase it in its entirety from iTunes. https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/curfew/id600675816
(P.S. Unfortunately, I don't get any residuals from iTunes sales, but would be happy to accept your undying thanks in the form of bearer bonds or Tiffany jewelry.)