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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Michael Keaton Has a ‘Need for Speed’

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At this point I’d be lying if I claimed I knew what to expect from the live-action version of Akira that Jaume Collet-Serra will direct early next year. The film is budgeted in the $90m range — not a lot to create a post-apocalypse future version of Manhattan in which motorcycle gangs do battle as a precursor to psychically-powered mayhem. We know that Garrett Hedlund is playing Kaneda, a biker gang leader whose brother, Tetsuo, is wounded and finds his own psychic power awakened, leading to madness.

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Briefly: Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new film, the currently untitled religious drama formerly called The Master, is really picking up steam. The Weinstein Company picked up distribution rights to the project that is being financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, and the casting process is in full swing.

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‘Larry Crowne’ Trailer

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Rami Malek Cast in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

rami-pacific

Briefly: We haven’t riled anyone with Twilight news in a few minutes, so here’s a brief update. At the Emmy Awards the other night, Rami Malek from The Pacific spilled that he’ll appear in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn as Benjamin, one of the Egyptian Coven of vampires. Wait, that’s actually pretty good news!

As I understand it, Malek will only appear in the second of the two Breaking Dawn films, and while his role may be small, he might get to have some explosive effects around him. As one rundown of the coven explains, “Benjamin, the mate of Tia, has a high awareness of what is right and wrong, and his special ability is to control the elements of nature, air, earth, fire, and water. Benjamin’s ability is unique in that it involves physical manipulation, as opposed to illusions of the mind.” [EW]

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