If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen me complaining about this film since January. I bumped it to the top of my queue a few days before it was scheduled to be released, and patiently waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Never once did it occur to me that some asshole was probably just hoarding the blu ray and the regular DVD version might be available, so I switched the format, and it came right away. Awesome. I'm an idiot.
At least it was worth the wait.
Grace (Brie Larson) is a supervisor in a youth home. When we meet her, it's obvious she's having some issues. She's somewhat distant to her long term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallangher Jr.) and we meet her at a very difficult time in her life. Then they receive a new resident, Jayden (Kaitlyn Denver) who reminds Grace so much of herself that she digs up past demons, and she's forced to, for once in a long time, to really access this situation she's gotten in.
What interested me about Short Term 12 right away was the fact that I work in a very similar facility to the one in the film. (Although by comparison, mine's a little stricter.) I was immediately impressed by how many things they simply got right. The ridiculous insults the kids hurled at the staff when they were put in a hold, the "levels," the running, even that little bracelet that Grace makes Jayden, all of that so was right. Everything felt so authentic. Especially Brie Larson's wonderful performance. It's a shame this film was so little, I think she could've been a serious Oscar contender otherwise.
I was literally scared for Grace when she started to take her job *too* seriously. That's kind of what they teach you when you work with at risk teens. You're there to guide them, you're not their parent, and don't take things too personally. This film really is the definition of an 'Indie Gem.' I hope you all get the chance to check it out.
Memorable Quote: "This is what I signed up for." - Mason (John Gallagher Jr.)