Tag Archives: Brie Larson

Interview: Short Term 12’s Kaitlyn Dever

Kaitlyn_DeverThings got crazy at SXSW 2013. So crazy in fact, that it was impossible to cover everything and I opted to skip out on a little something called “Short Term 12.” Nine months later, I had seen the film a half dozen times and named it my second favorite movie of the year. But even though I missed out on a few months of celebrating the film’s prowess, now I can watch it as many times as I’d like because “Short Term 12” is due out on DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms on Tuesday, January 14th.

The film stars Brie Larson as Grace, a young woman working as a supervisor in a group home for at-risk teens. Grace knows everyone. She knows how to get Luis (Kevin Hernandez) out of bed in the morning, she’s mindful of Keith’s (Keith Stanfield) temper and she can beat Sammy (Alex Calloway) in a race to the edge of the facility property. Kaitlyn Dever’s Jayden, on the other hand, proves to be a particularly unique challenge and not just because she’s suffering through a troubling upbringing, but also because Grace sees a lot of herself in Jayden.

To support “Short Term 12’s” upcoming DVD release, Dever took the time to talk to ShockYa about bringing Jayden to screen in a staggeringly collaborative way. Check out what the rising star told us about director Destin Cretton’s unique on-set environment, getting the chance to develop the character on her own, the challenge of working in an ensemble and loads more in the interview below, and be sure to catch “Short Term 12” on DVDBlu-ray or digitally tomorrow. I truly cannot recommend it enough.

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Review: Don Jon

Don_Jon_PosterJoseph Gordon-Levitt’s highly stylized and well-executed directorial choices make “Don Jon” a raunchy romp, but then he throws in just enough of that good old JGL charm to give it some heart.

It makes sense that Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) values his physique, his home, his car, his family, his church, his friends and his girls, but porn? When it comes to things Jon just can’t live without, porn is pretty high up there. And we’re not talking about the occasional indulgence. Not only does Jon have a habit of using pornography to get the job done dozens of times a week, but he also prefers it to the real thing. Considering he tends to stick to one-night stands, it’s never really been an issue, but when Jon meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) and thinks she might be worth a long-term relationship, the porn just has to go.

After putting a handful of short films on his resume, Gordon-Levitt made the move to features and, turns out, he was ready. “Don Jon” is out there to say the least and could easily have been an unfunny, pointless disaster, but Gordon-Levitt formulates the ideal unique style that well supports the comedy and surprisingly moving character journey.

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Interview: Short Term 12’s Brie Larson

Short_Term_12_PosterShort Term 12 has already screened at SXSW, the Seattle International Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival and more, and in case you haven’t heard from the ensuing buzz, this is a very, very special movie.

It stars Brie Larson as Grace, a supervisor at a group home for at-risk teenagers. Passionate about her work and her kids, Grace knows each and every one of them individually and is determined to ensure they get what they need and, when the time comes, are ready to move on. However, doing that for the facility’s newest arrival Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) proves to be particularly difficult because Jayden’s situation conjures up memories of Grace’s own dark past.

Odds are you’ve seen Larson in the films Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldRampart or 21 Jump Street, and while she’s quite good in each, Short Term 12 is on another level. Larson insists on not attributing the film’s success to her own work, but when you see it, her thoughtful and thorough approach to the role is at least partially responsibly for the all-consuming and incredibly poignant result.

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Review: Short Term 12

Short_Term_12_Poster“Short Term 12” is infinitely dynamic, making it one of the most moving, harrowing, heartwarming, and satisfying films of the year.

Brie Larson leads as Grace, a young supervisor at Short Term 12, a facility for at-risk teens. Grace is all business, running a smooth operation, taking the time to truly get to know each and every kid, and essentially caring for them all like they’re her own. The problem is, Grace has a troubled past of her own and when a new kid comes and winds up rousing Grace’s inner demons, Graces runs the risk of losing her long-term relationship, control over Short Term 12, and her sanity.

As someone who tends to have a tough time finding an entry point when a narrative functions without a clear-cut trajectory, “Short Term 12’s” power to engage is just downright outstanding. Grace’s relationship with that new kid, a young girl named Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), is one of the primary scenarios, but the full feature is so much more than that. Just like in reality, Grace isn’t hit with ups and downs one at a time; they come all at once, at odd intervals, or not at all, and the experience is all the more raw and moving for it.

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Review: The Spectacular Now

The_Spectacular_Now_Poster“The Spectacular Now” swaps storytelling truisms for the natural beat of life and thanks to outstanding performances from Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, that results in an exceptionally raw and poignant experience.

Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) isn’t a star athlete or class president, but he’s loved by all for being the life of every party. With his equally adored girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) by his side, Sutter is unstoppable. That is until Cassidy dumps him. After drowning his sorrows in alcohol, Sutter wakes up outside, in the middle of someone’s lawn with absolutely no recollection of where he left his car. It could have been all downhill from there, but fortunately for Sutter, there is a silver lining to this episode, and that silver lining is Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley).

We’ve seen popular guys abandon all high school social standards to date the quiet, nice girl, but what makes “The Spectacular Now” stand out is that this time, you believe it. Sutter isn’t embarking on some grand adventure that climaxes with an unforgettable senior prom, rather he’s simply living life for a stretch of time as anyone might. The outcome is a film with varying stakes, emotions, and pacing, and also one with a strong backbone of impeccable character development and performances, making it extremely genuine.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Dream Casting ‘Catching Fire’

In August of 2010 I posted “Daring to Dream: Casting ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie” on Cinematical. Not a single person I named was cast and I still stand by my choices to the point, but I must concede Gary Ross and Lionsgate did a much better job. However, that’s not stopping me from dream casting the sequel, Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games Vets

Of course there are quite a few characters from round one that will not return, but we’ve got quite the handful that are not only still in the spotlight, but consuming more of it. Catching Fireis Katniss Everdeen’s story just like The Hunger Games, so Jennifer Lawrence’s return is top priority. Sure this whole X-Men: First Class 2 thing put a little strain on the Catching Fireproduction schedule, but Lawrence needs to be front and center and the studio’s got to make that happen in any way it can.

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Interview: The Trouble With Bliss’ Michael C. Hall

Nowadays we all know him as our friendly neighborhood serial killer, Dexter, but even Michael C. Hall himself admits “there’s more to acting than playing a serial killer.”

In the upcoming release The Trouble with Bliss, Hall stars as Morris Bliss, a guy in his mid-30s who calls his widowed father’s (Peter Fonda) apartment his own and actually bunks down in what looks to be his childhood room. Oddly enough, rather than date someone his own age, Morris falls for an 18-year-old student (Brie Larson) who just so happens to be the daughter of an old high school pal (Brad William Henke).

Morris is a pretty interesting specimen. He’s got hopes to make big moves, but seemingly lacks the motivation to do, well, much of anything – quite the opposite of Dexter. In honor of The Trouble with Bliss’ March 23rd limited release, Hall took the time to discuss his Dexter detox, his experience playing a more reactive character, working with writer-director Michael Knowles and much more. Check it all out in the interview below.

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