Grace (Brie Larson) has dedicated her life to helping kids who’ve slipped through the cracks. Committed to her job, her lover and not getting too involved, she’s thrown the perfect wrong-un when fifteen year old Jayden appears at Short Term Facility 12, suffering from abuse that mirrors her own. As Grace readies for a new life with co-worker and soon to be husband Mason, things begin to fall apart and we’re taken deeper into her own abuse in this harrowing and heartfelt story of dysfunction, abuse, love and repair.
Short Term 12 is director Destin Daniel Cretton’s follow up to the highly successful indie short film of the same name and feature length I am not a Hipster. If this backlog is anything to go by then Cretton could well become one of the leading lights in indie drama. With an edge of quasi-documentary Short Term 12 offers us a real insight into our leading lady’s life and perfectly captures the conflict of her mind and the insecurities she feels, but also the strength of character that’s led her to dedicate her life to those who’ve suffered the same neglect and abuse.
The simple joys of a normal life, of being loved and seeing those you care for succeed are what resonate from this film and if you manage to watch this without feeling a deep connection to Grace (Brie Larson), Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) Marcus (Keith Stanfield) or any other characters then simply put, drama is not your genre. This sensation is not least due to the stunning, and in my opinion, award winning performance of Brie Larson who projects uncertainty with distrust and love in equal amounts with such beauty that you’ll be forgiven forgetting this is a film at all. She is of course supported by a spectacular supporting cast and young talent including Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield and Kevin Hernandez who clearly have futures ahead of them.
Short Term 12 is a film I cannot recommend enough; though not for everyone, it’s a film with heart, joy and passion beautifully directed fully deserving of the numerous award won on the festival circuit.
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