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 most of the children were cast through open casting calls, Lakeith Stanfield was the only actor to return from the original short film Short Term 12 (2008). Director Destin Daniel Cretton had to struggle to reach him during the casting as he had quit acting and did not have a cell phone. See more »
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 »
Can we play Big and Small?
Is that a real game, or is that a game you just made up?
It's a real game that I just made up.
See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. "An indie gem" is meant to be a term of respect for a little movie that manages to make an emotional connection, usually while being screened at a film festival or in a very limited and brief theatrical run. The best ones drive us to encourage everyone we know to take the time to see it. Such is writer/director Destin Cretton's latest.
Some movies offer a promising premise and then let us down with faulty execution. Short Term 12 is actually better than its premise would lead you to expect. Credit goes to Mr. Cretton's quasi-documentary directorial style, tremendous acting from support characters played by John Gallagher Jr (Mason), Kaitlyn Dever (Jayden), and Keith Stanfield (Marcus), and a stunning lead performance from rising star Brie Larson (Grace).
Grace and Mason help run a foster care facility. We witness first hand their daily work with the kids, some of it quite mundane ... though other moments incredibly powerful. Grace and Marcus have their own personal connections to this way of life, and also happen to be in a relationship that seems built on avoiding the communication and connection that goes into their daily jobs.
The use of art as a communication device plays a role throughout. Marcus uses his rap lyrics, newcomer Jayden draws and writes children's stories. These two kids are particularly important because they also mirror the inner sanctum of Mason and Grace, and we see these people all battle demons in hope of living a "normal" life. This is not a story of saints and sinners ... these are just people coming to grip with the deck they've been dealt.
You will recognize Gallagher from his work on HBO's "Newsroom", and Dever made quite an impression in her time on "Justified". Larson's star is on the rise thanks to her presence in The Spectacular Now and Don Jon, as well as some upcoming projects. She IS what critics have been trying make Greta Gerwig ... an actress who breathes life into character we feel we know.
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