One Minute Review: Short Term 12 (2013)

Release Date
August 23, 2013
Director
Destin Daniel Cretton
Screenplay
Destin Daniel Cretton
Distributed By
Cinedigm
Drama
Rated R for language and brief sexuality
96 minutes

Short Term 12

“Short Term 12” is a mass of emotions, brought to life by a superior eye for film-making and some subtle yet high caliber performances from everyone involved. The film follows Grace (Brie Larson) as she supervises a home for at-risk teens. With each interaction, at work and at home, a new set of issues is at hand, progressing naturally and hauntingly to the breaking point for our leading actress. Directors don’t just stumble upon strong emotions like these; they are masterfully honed and developed by a keen touch and existing emotions ready to evoke. Brie Larson does an expert job of portraying these emotions, thoughtfully, absorbing the content and expressing it with a believability that keeps the film on course and never over the top.

The supporting roles create a strong emotional foundation for the film as well, with excellent showings from the at-risk teens in Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield, Alex Calloway, and Kevin Hernandez all of whom take their somewhat small roles and carry them to the next level, with understated emotional responses to their surroundings. John Gallagher Jr. balances out Larson’s performance with some much needed comic relief. Independent films can be a mixed bag, relying heavily on the competence of the director and the resonance of their voice alongside the cast and how versatile and emphatic they are in their performance. “Short Term 12” is easily one of the strongest independent films of the year and spells a long successful career ahead for both Brie Larson and director Destin Cretton.

 

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