Best Female Lead
FILM Short Term 12
Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility – Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. She and Mason also struggle to help Marcus (Keith Stanfield) – an intense, quiet kid who is about to turn 18 – manage the difficulty of having to leave the facility. Grace comes to find – in both her work and the new teenager in her care – surprising sources of redemption. And while the subject matter is complex and often dark, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places.
FILM Blue Jasmine
After everything in her life falls to pieces, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin), elegant New York socialite Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) moves into her sister Ginger’s (Sally Hawkins) modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself back together again.
FILM Crystal Fairy
When Jamie invites a complete stranger to come along on a road trip to the north of Chile with his Chilean friend Champa and two of his younger brothers, he fails to realize that this woman–a fellow American who goes by the name of Crystal Fairy–is ready and willing to accept any invitation that comes her way. Jamie’s acidic and self-absorbed personality clashes with Crystal Fairy’s free and esoteric nature, as all five of them head into the Atacama Desert with the concise mission of drinking a San Pedro cactus for a mescaline-fueled psychedelic trip. As the journey unfolds and the traveling companions get to know each other better, Jamie learns that he must be more accepting of others, while Crystal finds the way to accepting herself.
FILM Before Midnight
An American father, Jesse, (Ethan Hawke) is seeing off his son Hank (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) at the Kalamata Airport in Greece. Hank’s returning to his mother and life in the U.S. after spending the “best summer ever” with Jesse and his family. The middle-schooler is more composed than his fortyish father, who hovers anxiously as their separation draws near.
Geography weighs heavily on Jesse. Outside the airport, he rejoins his family: Celine (Julie Delpy) and their young twin daughters Ella and Nina (Jennifer and Charlotte Prior). As they drive through the austerely beautiful rocky hillsides of Messinia, Jesse and Celine talk—about living so far from Hank, about her career as an environmentalist and hopes for a new job, about the swirl of ancient and modern Greece around them. Jesse hints at wanting to move back to America from their home in Paris, but Celine has done her U.S. time—they lived in New York for a spell—and has no wish to return. Their long history together bubbles between them.
Jesse and Celine first met in their twenties in Before Sunrise (1995), reunited in their thirties in Before Sunset (2004), and now, in Before Midnight, they face the past, present and future.
FILM The Spectacular Now
With sly humor and an intensity of feeling, The Spectacular Now creates a vivid, three dimensional portrait of youth confronting the funny, thrilling and perilous business of modern love and adulthood. This is the tale of Sutter Keely – high school senior, effortless charmer and would-be master of never worrying about the future – and of how he unexpectedly falls in love and also comes to terms with the fear, beauty and mystery of what comes next.