RWMFF 2013 Review: Short Term 12
“At-risk” doesn’t mean “broken” and adulthood doesn’t mean having yourself entirely together all the time. That’s the central theme of Destin Cretton’s 2013 film Short Term 12.
Brie Larson stars as Grace, a supervisor at a foster care facility for at-risk teens. The story picks up as one of her charges, Marcus (Keith Stanfield) is approaching his 18th birthday and subsequent discharge from the facility. Her relationship with coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) reaches a pivotal moment and a mysterious new girl, Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), arrives at the facility. Grace’s bond with Jayden brings long-buried secrets to the surface, which threaten everything she holds dear.
With so much weighty material, Cretton deftly avoids letting Short Term 12 tumble into heavy-handed moralizing. Instead, the film balances heavy scenes like Marcus’s lyrical confession and Grace and Jayden’s cathartic vandalism with levity and humor that feels organic.
There’s a reason Short Term 12 has already generated buzz at festivals around the world.
Short Term 12 screens as part of the 2013 Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website.