CultureFilmWhy Oscar nominated ‘If Anything Happens, I Love You’,...

Why Oscar nominated ‘If Anything Happens, I Love You’, is a must-watch


Oscar-nominated short, ‘If Anything Happens I Love You’ directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govier is a 12-minute, gorgeous animation portraying two parents coping up with the loss of their child.

But that is not all there is to the heart-breaking short.

The reverse chronology of events reveals at the end of the film, that the daughter was killed at a school shooting incident, highlighting the less talked about issue of gun violence pervasive in America.

We find out that the title ’If Anything Happens I Love You’, was the daughter’s last text to her parents before gunshots are heard in the background.

The silent film beautifully captures the characters’ emotions, but what is heart-wrenchingly moving for the audience besides the touching story, are the minimalistic visuals where the characters’ shadows are replaced with dialogues doing most of the story-telling, and King Princess’ single 1950 that plays at an important moment in the film: all the right elements for a tear-jerker.

California Institute of Arts student Youngran Nho was hired as the art director and animator for the project, and her creative approach to such a sensitive subject gives in heavily to the atmosphere of the film. Nho was inspired by the Academy Award-winning short ’Father and Daughter’, which was a black-and-white animation.

The animator opts for a simple watercolor background to give the short a melancholic and raw feel. The only colors used are blue, to symbolize the daughter, and the American flag, which carries a heavy message about the prevalence of this issue in the country.

Hollywood star Laura Dern too came on board as the executive producer for the short film after being involved with the non-profit organization. “They [directors] were able to capture the theme of grief in a way that transcended animation and transcended film which is so rare to experience,” said Dern in an interview with Variety.

With its striking message, If Anything Happens I Love You is being considered as a front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Text by: Sreyoshi Sil, IBTN9

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