At a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers, Grace is a young counselor trying to do her best for kids who often have been pulled from the worst kinds of home situations. Even then, life is not easy as Grace and her colleagues care for kids who are too often profoundly scarred, even as they try to have lives of their own. Now, things are coming to a head as Grace readies for marriage even as some her charges are coming to major turning points in their lives. To cope, Grace will have to make difficult perceptions and decisions that could put her career, and more importantly her charges, at dire risk. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
While Jayden is waiting for her father, she does her makeup (eyeliner around her eyes). After her father fails to come get her, she runs into her room, and after a scuffle, is pinned down by Nate, Grace and Mason. At this point, there is no makeup on or around her eyes. See more »
Forget your blockbusters--this is super cinema without the price tag.
"You are not their friend, and you are not their therapist," Jack (Frantz Turner) to Grace (Brie Larson)
You can be forgiven if you think Short Term 12 is a documentary, so close it seems to the reality of a foster-care facility, so natural its acting in almost every character. If you see any films this month, makes sure this is one of them
First time helmer Destin Cretton, with two years' experience in a similar care-giving facility (The title refers to the 12 or so group homes for teens in the county), has masterfully relayed the love and sorrow inherent in a place where virtually everyone is displaced from a parent, or abused, even the staff.
The story belongs to Grace (Brie Larson), a caring giver who influences for good many of her charges, not easy cases any one of them. Part of the reason she is so successful is that she knows from abuse by her father, who is in prison for his offenses. She finds a younger Doppelganger of sorts in defiant teen Jadyn (Kaitlyn Dever), whose traumas at the hands of her father are ongoing and call for identifying with Grace's experiences and strong remedy. Watch for an Oscar nomination if this indie is seen by enough of us.
To parallel the challenges of the home, Grace's home with fellow staffer, boyfriend Mason is both loving and stressful because she struggles with becoming pregnant and reconciling her tortured past with her father, who is ready to be released form prison. Mason is the ideal caregiver, loving and competent with the teenagers and her.
Although many moments could be melancholic or downright tear-jerking in other hands, Cretton doesn't allow excessive sorrow to rule; rather, the sadness is mitigated by the small triumphs. Hey, that's just like real life.
This little indie will cure you of any longing for summer blockbusters and their half-billion-dollar entanglements. Short Term 12's situations are enough satisfying drama for ten Lone Rangers.
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