One of the best films I’ve seen so far this year is Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12. The movie stars Brie Larson as Grace, a young woman who works at a foster-care facility for at-risk kids, but she also has to face her own demons. It’s a powerful film with a breakthrough performance from Larson, and the movie picked up the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize (Narrative Film) at this year’s SXSW. The Wrap reports that Cinedigm will release the film on August 23rd.
While I’m glad the movie is getting a theatrical release, August 23rd is a horrible release date. It’s not close enough to the awards season (where a serious campaign might put Cretton’s screenplay and Larson in contention), and it’s going to get buried under bigger films The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The World’s End, and You’re Next. If Short Term 12 opens anywhere near you, make time to see it. Here’s my review from SXSW.
Earlier this week, I wrote in my review of Kelly + Victor about how love couldn’t always overcome past abuse. The film makes a fine presentation of its theme, but it left me feeling empty all the same. I want love to triumph, and I want characters to cope with emotional trauma. Most importantly, I want that that sentiment to be earned. Anything less is a corny and condescending. A film has to go to the dangerous places in order to earn the emotionally powerful crescendo it hopes to achieve. Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12 goes to those dangerous places, and delivers that emotional powerhouse through the confidence of its direction, the thoughtful and surprisingly funny script, and the tremendous performances from its cast led by a breakthrough turn from star Brie Larson.
Earlier this month, we reported on the first wave of SXSW 2013 films, which includes The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Evil Dead. Today, the full line-up has been announced, and it feels like Sundance all over again when it comes to plenty of unknown films. The chance of discovering a gem is high, and I look forward to hearing the buzz that arises from some these movies. There’s also a second chance at festival films I missed like The Act of Killing (from TIFF) and Pit Stop (from Sundance). I thought Toy’s House would make it in to SXSW, but I’ll see it eventually since it picked up distribution.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 8 – 17th.