Jennifer Lawrence Daniel Cretton

Jennifer Lawrence is currently rivaling Guillermo del Toro in the “projects in development” department. Seemingly every month, the most recent Best Actress Oscar-winner lines up a few new books or scripts she’ll hopefully make in the future. Now, one of the many just jumped ahead of the pack with a new director.

That director is Destin Daniel Cretton, the writer and director of this year’s masterpiece Short Term 12. The film is The Glass House, based on a memoir by columnist Jeannette Walls. It’s a Lionsgate property to which Lawrence attached herself last year. Read More »

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Editor’s Note: Short Term 12 opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend and expands this week. Below we’re republishing Germain’s review from South by Southwest 2013 and click here for an interview with the director.

Sometimes you watch a movie and, at the end, can’t think of anything in the film that could have been done better. The whole thing just feels perfect or magical, a shining example of what cinema is all about. Short Term 12 is one of those movies.

Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton based on his award-winning 2009 short film of the same name, Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson as Grace. She’s young woman who spends her days overseeing a huge group of foster kids in a group home, many of whom are mentally ill. They suffer from depression, have suicidal tendencies and OCDs. It is Grace’s job — and that of her boyfriend Mason (The Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr.) and a new guy (Rami Malek) — to try and keep the kids content while they go about their lives. This is easier said than done when Grace is probably more messed up than everyone else in the building.

Funny, moving, surprising and emotional, Short Term 12 is an awards contender from top to bottom. The performances are mindblowing, the writing sharp, and the direction beautiful. It’s a very special movie, and worthy winner of the 2013 South by Southwest Grand Jury and Audience Awards. Read More »

Destin Daniel Cretton

Maybe you saw the trailer for Short Term 12, where someone called it “a shining example of what cinema is all about.” That was me, and I was not overstating the film’s quality. Destin Daniel Cretton‘s film about young people watching over troubled kids is simply that good. Maybe even better.

Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom) star as two young adults who put their own personal problems aside every morning when they go to a halfway house for despondent young kids called Short Term 12. Cretton not only creates rich, realistic characters in every single role, but they make you laugh one instant and cry the next, with the emotions never feeling forced or out of place. It’s about as great a movie as I can remember seeing in a long time.

Which meant I jumped at the chance to sit down and chat with the writer and director of the film. We talked about the pressures of the film’s praise, balancing tones, when he knew the film would all come together, his methods of filmmaking, a deleted scene that really moved him and the difficulties of being a writer/director.

Short Term 12 opens on a limited basis on August 23 and expands from there. Read our interview and seek it out. You will not be disappointed. Read More »

Short Term 12

At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, one film took home both top prizes awarded by the Grand Jury and Audience. That film, Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, opens August 23. Now you can get a look at the movie, as the first trailer has just been released.

Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. as a young couple who have to balance their own personal issues with the problems of the displaced kids they oversee at a foster home. It’s a glorious, special film I gave a perfect 10/10 score. (My first.) Check out the trailer below and see what all the fuss is about. Read More »

Short Term 12

Briefly: By far the best movie I’ve seen in 2013, Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, is making its way to your local theater. (Or, in all likelihood, your favorite VOD platform.) Cinedigm acquired the film, which won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival, and is planning a late Summer release.

Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. as a young couple who have to balance their own personal issues with the issues of the displaced kids they are in charge of at a foster home. Read my full review here. It’s a glorious, special film. [Deadline] Read More »

One of the early films to play at this year’s Sundance film festival was I Am Not a Hipster, the film by Destin Daniel Cretton in which Dominic Bogart plays a San Diego musician who has to deal with himself and his family during not entirely welcome visits from his father and sisters.

The film has been praised for emotional honesty, the performance by Bogart and direction by Cretton, and the many songs which are woven into the narrative, and which have helped the film earn comparisons to Once.

In early December we ran the teaser for I Am Not a Hipster, but now that the film is playing and enthusiastic reviews are coming in, it’s worth taking a look once more. While the dialogue-free footage won’t give you much indication of the characters or plot, you’ll get a taste of the film’s general aesthetic, and of the songs that run through it. And, yeah, it looks and sounds quite good. Read More »

In the low-key Sundance premiere I Am Not a Hipster, Dominic Bogart plays a San Diego indie rock singer/songwriter named Brook who is stuck in a depression. His three sisters and estranged father visit, forcing him to break his self-isolation and confront something he has spent two years running away from — the death of his mother.

I Am Not a Hipster is a musical, but not in the traditional sense.  The film is likely to draw comparisons to the Sundance hit film Once as it features a lot of music in performance form. The film shows the personal journey from emotion to song, crafting a narrative from the soul. The music is beautiful yet raw and full of emotion.
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As a former resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a.k.a. The Hipster Capital of the World, one joke I’ve heard (and, okay, repeated) a lot is that you can always tell a hipster by how vehemently he insists he’s not a hipster. By that standard, the Sundance 2012 flick I Am Not a Hipster could just be the hipster film to end all hipster films. Whatever that means.

Written and directed by first-time feature helmer Destin Daniel Cretton, I Am Not a Hipster follows characters in the indie art and music scene. Appropriately enough, given the material, the movie also features a melancholy indie rock soundtrack by the Canines, with several of their tracks from the movie already available for streaming or downloading. Watch the trailer and find out where to get the music after the jump.

Read More »

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