Sunday, December 1, 2013

Short Term 12: Movie Review

Realism allows comedy and drama to come together in a fully likable manner.

The realism of a foster care center for teenagers is up-close and personal but provides so much humour that the drama is never over-whelming. It’s also quite touching that the adults in charge are just as messed up as the kids but try even harder in covering it up. “Short Term 12” stars Brie Larson as Grace a twenty-something counselor who is in charge of fellow staff and a few emotionally-damaged kids. 2013

Directed by: Destin Cretton

Screenplay by: Destin Cretton

Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr.

Grace is in a relationship with fellow counselor, and former foster child, Mason (John Gallagher Jr). Grace’s emotionally-damaging childhood has left her ill-equipped to be in a relationship but Mason is such a loving, caring individual that she’s going to need to mature up eventually.

The highlight of the teenagers is Marcus (Keith Stanfield) who is turning 18 and has to leave the care center. He hides his insecurities behind masculine bravado, but as it doesn’t fool our heroes and heroine, Mason eventually gets him to read his poetry. It’s a rap song with many words and phrases that he’s not allowed to say, but anybody watching will be laughing so hard that he probably can’t be held responsible for every inappropriate thing in the song.

There’s a significant bit of drama unfolding in the foster care center, all of which can be very upsetting, but the beauty of “Short Term 12” is that the drama is folded into the comedy so realistically that it really is easy to like. The characters, particularly the supporting adults, are beautifully portrayed and allow the complexities, the flaws and graces, of our heroine Grace to evolve in their own time.

Who Might Like This: People who like character dramas about teens and young adults; anybody looking for a story about foster care and troubled teen facilities.

Best of 2013