Short Term 12 was beautiful. It makes you experience a whole spectrum of emotions while never feeling manipulative or unrealistic. Brie Larson was fantastic, Keith Stanfield was great and, while I already knew I liked him from The Newsroom, John Gallagher, Jr. was good in this too. My only complaint was that I wish there had been less hand-held shooting, or at least that it was less obvious in stationary shots and that it didn't constantly lose focus in moving close-ups. I cried manly tears.
This film may not be as emotionally rewarding as most people say.
Rather than being "natural" and "organic", it actually inhabits a space just a few inches on this side of contrived. I'll give it credit; most of the time you can roll with what the film is doing, but there's a couple of scenes where you feel like you've been set up.
Is it necessary for Grace to meet a perfect carbon-copy of her previously-abused self to work through her issues? Oh, hey. You're a cutter. And a loner. And you like to draw. Plus, your dad's a jerk. What a coincidence. Let's be besties!
Is it necessary for Grace's intuitions to have been correct about Jayden's abuse history, and later proven correct, when, actually, the therapist was quite right about her not having any actionable evidence?
Seriously. The therapist should have said, "Grace. Booby. The kid told you a story about an octopus that you chose to interpret a certain way because you over-identify with her too much and because you haven't maintained professional boundaries. Why don't you work on that so you can actually be some good to these kids? Because if you don't, I can guarantee that you'll find yourself standing over her sleeping father late one night, holding a baseball bat. And that lamp is coming out of your paycheque!!"
All that being said, Brie Larson is a cinematic treasure. I have no idea how someone goes from playing Envy Adams in 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' to something as raw and pared-down as her role here in 'Short Term 12'.
And now she's starring in 'Skull Island', the new King Kong movie? Usually when I shout, "Put her in all the things!!!" Hollywood doesn't take my advice so quickly, or literally.
A tough, touching, and humorous look at a youth foster/psych home and its staff. It would have been very easy for this movie to slide into triteness and over-saccharine lessons, but outside of a few moments, it always feels grounded and real. A large part of that is thanks to the children actors, so often a detriment, they truly shine in this movie. Especially strong is the young man who plays Marcus, he may have big things ahead of him. The intimate camera work and natural feel to scenes add to the sense that you are in the world with these characters, and it rewards you in an emotional way. The connections and empathy you build are more than enough for me to overcome any of the writing flaws, though there aren't many to begin with. An incredible film, I'm excited to see what the writer/director has in the future.
Such a good movie. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a thought provoking straight to the point good old fashioned movie. With a very short run time for modern day features, its refreshing how effective the story played out.
I saw Short Term 12 and it was one of the most underwhelming movies I have ever seen. I go out of my way to watch indie movies because I want to see something different and unexpected, but what I got was a by-the-books, predictable, bland, pandering movie that was basically just a Hollywood movie with less money.