Sunday, September 15, 2013

Short Term 12

Movie Name: Short Term 12
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Destin Cretton
Stars: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr, Kaitlyn Dever, Stephanie Beatriz, Rami Malek, Keith Stanfield, Frantz Turner, Melora Walters, Alex Calloway
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Director Destin Cretton's "Short Term 12" has been navigating the waves of the Independent Film Festivals of this current year, and getting accolades and accumulating good reviews. The film takes it's name from a foster care facility, where children are kept while transitioning from traumatic domestic situations, to adoption situations or other more permanent (hopefully) and positive situations.
Grace and her boyfriend Mason are the veterans in the team, alongside Jessica and the newcomer Nate. Grace is the caregiver for all those children, each one coming from different, yet troublesome backgrounds. Grace herself is a survivor of some very difficult situations in her life. She finds out that she's pregnant, as one particularly troublesome child joins the group, making things erupt all around.
"Short Term 12" is a film that could have fallen easily into the "movie of the week" context, with the dramas of child abuse, however director Destin Cretton, wisely chooses to follow Grace, a young woman who has survived difficult ordeals, and who wants to provide help and guidance for the children. The film allows for these characters to fully live and have dimension, and much of it's core and heart, comes from the interaction of the actors. The director is also very successful in capturing the frailty of children's lives and expectations, as is in the way it captures the hardship of a young relationship and the steps to becoming a responsible adult. The threads that the film successfully builds are as delicate as they are strong in it's emotional impact. Brie Larson has a fantastic performance as the experienced, yet frail Grace, as does Kaitlyn Dever as the young Jayden. The film also benefits from the beautiful cinematography from Brett Pawlak. A great film not to be missed.