Title – Short Term 12 (2013)
Director – Destin Cretton (I Am Not a Hipster)
Cast – Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr, Kaitlyn Dever, Rami Malek, Keith Stanfield
Plot – The trials and tribulations of young residential treatment worker Grace (Larson) who along with her boyfriend Mason (Gallagher Jr) must learn how to not only deal with the troubled children in their care but the troubles within themselves.
“Why are you so nice to me?”
Review by Eddie on 14/05/2014
Sometimes a movie that on the surface may seem small in both scale and scope has much more to say than anyone gave it credit for until they themselves have seen it. Destin Cretton’s feature debut Short Term 12 is one of those films whose synopsis does not give it credit for what it broaches in its short 90 minute running time.
Coming out of nowhere and striking a chord with audiences the world over, Short Term 12 is a fantastically written and observant film that has a lot to say about both disconnected youth and those whose lives have been affected by sometimes unspeakable trauma. Cretton has a deft touch both in his screenwriting and in his gritty handheld filming approach and the two mould together to paint an emotionally driven portrait of those in the “limbo” house between broken home and new foster accommodation. There are some striking scenes in the film namely a heartbreaking rap from Marcus (Stanfield) a boy who has clearly experienced much heartbreak or two bookend scenes played out with dialogue chronicling adventures of the homes residents. These moments in the film showcase Cretton as a talent to watch just like the films leading lady Brie Larson.
Small films like Short Term 12 have been a breeding ground for break out performances for years now, with those looking to break into a tough industry choosing tough roles to show off their wares. Brie Larson here in her role as conflicted and inwardly troubled worker Grace stamps herself as an actress capable of both pure heartrending emotion and an equal talent at comedic timing and loveable charm, no doubt a few tricks were learned from her time in praised TV show The United States of Tara and supporting roles in films such as 21 Jump Street and Don Jon. It’s a pleasure to see an actress grow before your eyes as Larson does and she is ably supported by an impressive adult cast and a cast of young adults that are led by Justified’s impressive young actress Kaitlyn Dever.
Short Term 12 is as stated a small film that deals with big issues and deals with them in a way that is both confronting yet in a manner that seems just right. It’s a film brimming with heart and personality and a film that could stand equal to many more high profile films of last year. I personally can’t wait to see where both Larson and Cretton go to next.
4 hated inflatable dogs out of 5