Short Term 12 (2013)
Running Time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Destin Cretton
Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Rami Malek, Kaitlyn Dever
Short Term 12 is an indie drama based at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Grace (Larson) a counselor at the facility gives her best at the job, but even so, it isn’t easy as the kids are constantly trying to run away or shut themselves out from everyone. As Grace prepares herself for a baby, she will have to make some of her toughest decisions about her career, life, and her charges.
With a straightforward storyline, the story was engaging from the first few minutes of the film, with rather complex characters ranging from the kids to the adults. The rawness of the script was what made the film stood out. There wasn’t excessive sadness, but enough to make audiences connect with the characters. It reminded me a little of Jordan Melamed’s 2001 film, Manic, but with more focus on the caretakers than the kids.
Brie Larson gave a solid performance as a caring yet troubled caretaker, whilst John Gallagher Jr gave an equally convincing performance as the patient and caring boyfriend and coworker. Furthermore, the actors that portrayed the kids in the story truly shone in this film, notably, Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden, the newcomer in the facility, Alex Calloway as Sammy, and Keith Stanfield as Marcus and they were a treat to watch throughout the film.
Overall, the indie flick is truly a treasure to watch and proves that without the million dollars budget, a film could still be a great. With solid directing, a good script, and great cast, Short Term 12 is definitely something you do not want to miss.
Rating: 8 out of 10