SXSW 2013 Review: SHORT TERM 12

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5 Reels)

Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers.  Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr). But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection.  While the subject matter is complex, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places (SXSW).

Larson’s portrayal of Grace is spectacular because her character is written with realism and depth.  Something which is not easy to achieve and I for one was pleasantly surprised to witness.  At times, this film is gut-wrenching because we see what happens to children placed in the foster care system.  They are broken and fractured in a way due to how they are treated not only by foster parents but their real parents.  All most of these children want is to be loved and accepted but unfortunately most don’t experience those things.

This film is hard to watch at times because the topic is not easy to deal with but is definitely worth the effort because it is an exceptional film.  This film won the South by Southwest Grand Jury Winner award; fantastic.

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