Short Term 12 is a character-driven story that takes a look into the lives of neglected youths.
The characters feel human with their own flaws and baggage. Stellar performances from the cast make their storylines affecting. The narrative is told from their perspective, which prevents it from turning into a thinly veiled Oscar bait hero story.
The film provides a realistic look into social work and the aftermath of abuse. There’s little that you can do as a powerless staff even if you have the most insight into the situation. Healing isn’t going to be magically solved by a series of therapy.
The naturalistic cinematography helped in creating a recognizable setting, which fortunately in this case wasn’t stylized for that poetic pretentious indie look. The location could have been any facility anywhere in the US.
But while Short Term 12 is a nuanced drama, the coincidences are too convenient. Grace is forced to re-evaluate her life and finally take her own advice after a series of well-timed events. The mosaic plot is obviously polished with an impossibly unnoticed easy respite for Grace.
Still, Short Term 12 is funny, intimate, and offers no sugar-coated solution and easy answers. It takes time to heal, to love, and to be whole again.
Short Term 12
Short Term 12 has stellar performances and emphatic stories that elevate its conveniently polished indie drama.