Short Term 12 is a story about kids in a short-term foster care facility and the staff who work there. The story focuses on a young worker, Grace, as she struggles through work and life. Destin Cretton wrote and directed this intense story based on his real-life experiences working in a similar facility. This film was a festival favourite and a lot of praise went to Brie Larson for her role. The two of them really made a good match. A story like this could easily go too unbelievable or too cheesy, but both Larson’s subtlety and Cretton’s ease made this movie thoughtful.
Going into the movie, I was worried that the kid characters would all be a bit too cartoony, but instead I got real kids who seemed a bit lost and mostly just frustrated. They would be considered bad kids, problem kids, underprivileged, troubled and on track to be bad adults, but this movie forces you to think about what makes a bad person. People are always saying that bad people had tough childhoods, but here are tons of kids having tough childhoods and the story gives us, as the audience, hope that they’ll stay loving, caring people despite it.
We also see the other side, or what happens to kids in similar situations who grow up. Grace and her partner Mason are both from foster care or similar situations. They both struggle with who they are now and who they want to be compared to who they used to be, but mostly they’re just struggling with being adults. They’re just trying to keep it together for the kids they work with and for each other.
This movie is really captivating without being a spectacle. Subtlety is underrated, especially in stories about extraordinary circumstances. A-