Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Short Term 12: DVD Review

Short Term 12: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Madman Home Entertainment

Community star Brie Larson heads up this earnest lo-fi indie about a supervisor at a foster-care facility in America for teenagers.

She plays Grace, the slightly damaged go-to carer for these kids and who's trying to acclimatise one of them Marcus (Stanfield) to life on the outside. At the same time, a new teen Jayden (Denver) comes into the unit and Grace has to cope with a change in her own conditions...

There's an understated warmth toShort Term 12 that's engaging and entertaining - as well as a depth to the performances which is ultimately rewarding. Brie Larson gives a vulnerable yet strong turn as the fragile Grace, whose determination to help those around her almost comes at her own detriment as she juggles several lives at once. While there are some questions about whether Grace, who so clearly has issues of her own, would be running a care facility, Larson does much to assuage those doubts.

But the star is also Cretton who's crafted together something which has moments that shine.

One sequence where Marcus tries out a new rap with one of Grace's co-workers speaks volumes in the 30 seconds he has on screen about the pain and sadness of life before the foster home. Other directors would deliver a heartfelt, yet impassioned speech, but Cretton's simple use of a lingering camera and the actor is quietly impressive and totally emotionally mesmerising.

All in all, Short Term 12 exudes a confidence and empathy which is compelling to watch; it offers an insight into a world which reveals the daily doubts plaguing some of our youths, but also celebrates the daily victories of life in among the quietly authentic moments.


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