Short Term 12 is a devastatingly beautiful examination of vulnerability and hardship. Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film stars Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., and Kaitlyn Dever.
Grace (Larson) is a supervisor at a facility for at-risk teens. She is strong and insistent, yet flexible and nurturing. Her long-time boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (Gallagher Jr.), is equally as compassionate and resilient. Each teen at the facility has their own troubling story and their own ways of coping. Marcus, played by Keith Stanfield, deals with his emotions by writing and rapping, while Jayden (Dever) writes stories and draws. As the film progresses it becomes clear that Grace has many problems of her own, and her way of coping is to help others.
Amazingly written and wonderfully acted, Short Term 12 exemplifies how a stellar cast and intriguing story can create something that’s truly one of a kind.
I could review Short Term 12 in-depth, and go on and on about why I love it. But instead I ask that you see it for yourself.
It’s really that wonderful.
Short Term 12 premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and received an overwhelmingly positive response. The film took home the Grand Jury Narrative Feature Award, as well as the Narrative Audience Award. It currently holds a 99% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.