Short Term 12

Destin Daniel Cretton
Verve Pictures

Short Term 12 is not an easy film to watch. It taunts and tricks you with soft focus and witty quips, providing the sugar for the incredibly moving medicine of the story underneath. Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, this delicate and distressing tale of at-risk teens living in a foster care facility is subtly portrayed and masterfully scripted.

Brie Larson is glorious as the 20-something counsellor, Grace, who carries a faint melancholy throughout. Alongside beau Mason (John Gallagher Jr), Grace and the other care staff demonstrate heart-wrenching dedication despite the trials they face daily, emanating from the teenagers and the pain that they have carried from their troubled home lives.

With the arrival of Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), abused at the hands of her father, Grace is forced to face a closet full of demons she deeply buried. A stellar cast, carefully observed writing and a dash of the disturbing make Short Term 12 one of the most poignant, brilliant and tear-inducing films to have been released this year.

Corin Douieb