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'Short Term 12': Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. on the buzzy indie

In Short Term 12, Brie Larson (21 Jump Street, The Spectacular Now) and John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom) play Grace and Mason — co-workers by day at a group home for at-risk teens and lovers by night. They have incredible chemistry, both with each other and with the kids they work with in the film. Directed by Destin Cretton, the story takes from his own experiences working in a foster care home for teens before he headed to film school.

Check out the exclusive clip below, where we see Larson and Gallagher’s interaction as Grace and Mason in a scene at the house they share in the film. Then watch the actors discuss their experience making the film in an in-studio interview.

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'Short Term 12': Here's why you'll be talking about the indie film this fall

Now that it’s scooped up a trio of film festival prizes — the Grand Jury and Audience awards at SXSW in March and an Audience Award at the L.A. Film Festival this week — Short Term 12 looks poised for a shot at an even bigger, unofficial title when it comes out Aug. 23: sleeper hit.

The indie dramedy follows the lives of Grace (21 Jump Street‘s Brie Larson) and Mason (The Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr.), two counselors at a foster care facility for troubled teenagers. The mix of roiling emotions and dark humor they find there comes straight from the real-life experiences of first-time writer-director Destin Cretton, who worked at a similar facility before going to film school. Once there, he made a brief prototype of Short Term 12 as his thesis film in 2009. Four years later, his full-length version is a festival darling, which seems to have caught the filmmaker a little off guard. “It’s weird for me to have something so personal be accepted by so many people,” says Cretton, who cites Hoop Dreams and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as inspirations. “Awards are wonderful, but it’s really just a reflection of the wonderful conversations that we’ve been getting after the screenings.”

Check out the movie’s new poster — an EW exclusive — below.
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