The best indie movies give you the feeling that their directors not only wanted but needed to make them. That’s certainly true of Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12, a drama of astonishing emotional purity that has the novel setting of a group foster home. It’s about a crew of teenagers, deeply troubled and out of sorts, who live in drab institutional rooms and try to patch their community of fellow foster children into a makeshift family. The situation has a built-in heartbreak, but Cretton doesn’t milk it. Instead, he lets each character strike a note of lived-in reality that is rarely found on screen. Short Term 12 lures you into passion and trauma: the staggeringly hopeless diary-of-a-lost-boy rap performed by Marcus (Keith Stanfield), the moodiest and most brilliant of the kids, or the journey from self-mutilation to shaky redemption undergone by Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), who masks her innocence in attitude. The home is run by counselors who are former foster children themselves. Brie Larson, as the caring but tormented Grace (who’s pregnant and doesn’t know if she has the faith to have her baby), and John Gallagher Jr., as her gentle-dweeb fellow worker Mason (who fears his love can’t save her), show you what emotionally naked acting is all about. A
SHORT TERM PARKING This fantastic indie drama about foster kids strikes a great balance between inevitable sadness and family happiness (Brett Pawlak)
Genre: Drama; Starring: John Gallagher Jr., Brie Larson; Director: Destin Cretton; Runtime (in minutes): 96; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Cinedigm
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
- Miguel releases Wale-featuring 'Coffee (F---king)'
- Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea release 'Pretty Girls'
- Domhnall Gleeson teaches us how to pronounce 'Domhnall Gleeson'
- 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' to film at Pinewood Studios
- 'Blurred Lines' may get another trial
- 'Star Trek' actress dies at 85
- 'Last Man on Earth': Will Forte on THAT season finale twist
- 'Pitch Perfect 2' costume designer's fashion notes
- Mourning after: Best TV episodes after a key character died
- NSYNC hair, revisited on 'It's Gonna Be May' meme day
- 'Outlander' sweats details so Lallybroch feels like home
- 'Grey's Anatomy': How 10 characters/actors exited the show
- Halle Berry & Goldie Hawn, Plus Diddy, Melissa McCarthy & More!