SHORT TERM 12: (2013/2020) Barbara and I first saw this wonderful movie in a theater in 2013. Now, seven years later, we streamed it at home on Amazon Prime Video. I wrote the review for Movie Views then and I don’t think I can improve on it except to say we loved it as much the second time as we did the first.
This is a beautifully written and acted independent film that reminds Barb and me why we go out of our way to see so many. It is movies like this that give independent films such a good name. Writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton draws from his own experiences working in a short-term home for at-risk teenagers. Little did he know that his first job after graduating from college would provide him with rich experiences that would lead to a highly acclaimed first feature film. I predict that this is a break-out film for Cretton as well as for the leading actress, Brie Larson. There is not a weak scene in the movie and though many scenes are low key, they are powerful and moving. Larson plays Grace, a young girl who is dedicated to helping kids who have slipped through the cracks of the system while struggling with her own troubled past. She has more therapeutic intuition in her untrained little finger than many trained therapists have after years of formal study. There are no big names in the cast list, but Cretton has assembled a truly believable and memorable ensemble. The title refers to an LA residential facility that houses troubled teenagers, usually fewer than 12 months, while they’re between court dates or foster homes. We think this is a rare gem of a film and worth a little extra effort to find. GRADE A
(We did recognize John Gallagher Jr. an actor who has done quite well in Hollywood.
We were especially impressed with his portrayal of Jim Harper in
Aaron Sorkin's drama series, The Newsroom.)