A pretentious person I know referred to this year’s batch of Oscar-nominated short films as a “mixed bag,” which in my mind means that they must be pretty good. My personal favorite, “The Eleven O’Clock,” is a delightfully original comedy about a patient of a psychiatrist who believes he’s the psychiatrist. The rest of them are nearly as good, albeit a deal more serious. “The Silent Child” tells the story of a deaf girl whose parents fail to get her the help she needs, while “Watu Wote” addresses Christian-Muslim conflicts in Africa. These serious films are so unabashedly serious that they almost come across as narrative-based public service announcements; each credit sequence is peppered with statistics, authentic footage and calls to action.