I tend to be a person who anticipates and researches a lot about movies before I watch them. When I impulsively watch something, it’s usually because I like one of the actors involved in it and want to follow up on their work. Since I’m becoming a big fan of Brie Larson, this was definitely the case with “Short Term 12”. I knew next to nothing about it, and the movie turned out to be a great surprise. I thought I’d quickly share my impressions about it so you can enjoy it as well!
“Short Term 12” tells the story of Grace, a foster care facility employee who deals with deeply scarred children. When new girl Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) arrives, she is faced with ghosts from her own past and has to deal with them as her relationship with Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) progresses. The movie deals with a series of heavy subjects, but it manages to stay light and heartfelt so it isn’t overly emotionally draining.
The first thing that caught my attention about this movie was definitely the cast. Aside from Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr. (who I know and love from various Broadway musicals), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) and Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) also star in it. The supporting cast is also incredible, and the kids play these difficult roles in a very genuine way. I believe all of this is due to Destin Daniel Cretton’s direction and script, as he actually worked in a facility similar to the one shown in the movie, and this inside knowledge and understanding can be seen in a subtle manner throughout the entire film.
I do have to say that I was shocked this movie wasn’t more heavily promoted. I don’t think it was ever shown in a movie theater near me, and I don’t remember hearing about it from any of my friends, either online or in real life. This puzzles me because during the movie I kept thinking how this was one of the best things I’d seen in a long time. Everything was so well-done and well-constructed here, from the relationship between Mason and Grace, which is a respectful and caring one even when both of them struggle with events from their pasts, to the support system created by the adults for the kids who live in the facility. The scene where Marcus (Keith Stanfield) shows his new lyrics to Mason stands out for me, and is a good example of how emotional the movie gets without being cheesy.
This movie had a big impact on me and I was thinking about it for a long time after it was finished. Nothing was overdone, and every scene felt genuine and necessary to the story. For me, this was an Oscar-worthy movie, and I look forward to seeing more things by this director. I highly recommend “Short Term 12” and I’d like to hear your thought about it too!
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