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 »

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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 »

Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom’ Trailer #2

HBO has released a second full length trailer for Aaron Sorkin‘s return to television — The Newsroom. In the series, Jeff Daniels plays “a big-time, buttoned-up news anchor who finally lets his real personality fly, and then has to deal with the career fallout that results.” Watch the trailer embedded after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below. Read More »

Aaron Sorkin returns to television with The Newsroom, and this first trailer makes the show out to be so very Aaron Sorkin. For fans of The West Wing and Sports Night, that’s probably all you need to hear.

For those who aren’t predisposed to love Sorkin’s work, here’s the attraction in The Newsroom: Jeff Daniels, playing a big-time, buttoned-up news anchor who finally lets his real personality fly, and then has to deal with the career fallout that results. There are a few potential red flags in this trailer: Sorkin’s near-trademark treatment of women; the possibility that the main figure is a political mouthpiece in search of a character; and a reliance once more on Sorkin’s classic “one man fighting the good fight” approach.

But good lord, Jeff Daniels just looks great. He’s an actor that is often dismissed, I think, and the brief couple minutes of this trailer may be enough to change that for many people. Read More »

Most audiences probably wouldn’t recognize Josh Pence from his big role in The Social Network — after all, his face was completely edited out of the film — but it looks like the part’s paid off for Pence all the same. Pence has just joined the cast of The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin‘s upcoming HBO pilot More As This Story Develops, along with Broadway stars John Gallagher Jr. and Thomas Sadoski. Scott Rudin, who also produced The Social Network, is executive producing with Sorkin.

More As This Story Develops revolves around a cable news anchor named Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his executive producer Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to get their show back on track after a massive staff shake-up. Gallagher will play the part of Jim, who develops a crush on the show’s associate producer Maggie (Alison Pill), while Pence will play Maggie’s boyfriend and the show’s senior producer Rob. Sadoski will be an executive producer who left Will’s series to work for Will’s former protege. Olivia Munn and Sam Waterston are also set to star. [Deadline]

After the jump, Annette Bening and Robert De Niro consider new projects with the Little Miss Sunshine team and David O. Russell, respectively.

Read More »

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