Saturday, March 08, 2014

Short Term 12

Brie Larsen and Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
 With South by Soutwest (SXSW) kicking off, it seemed appropriate to discuss last years winner of the Grand Jury Narrative Feature Award and Narrative Audience Award. That film, Short Term 12 is a film that missed out on mainstream success, but in my mind is one of the true gems of 2013 film releases.

The film which focuses on a home for at-risk teenagers, and it's young front line staff with challenges of their own. The young-adult staff includes stars Brie Larsen, John Gallager Jr, and Rami Malek. The students in the spotlight include Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield, and Kevin Hernandez. Every one of these six performers do a fantastic job in their performances.
Rami Malek, Keitlyn Dever, and John Gallager, Jr., Short Term 12
The film is certainly challenging - not because the film is overly manipulative but because it deals with a subset of society that it's hard to know how to help in a very vulnerable state and time in their life. Similarly the film presents such real and compelling characters that it creates an incredibly powerful narrative. The narrative has highs and lows and it is not a completely depressing film, but instead one that challenges viewers on so many levels. Not to mention, tells a great story.

This is the type of film that I wouldn't recommend to everyone, but one I wish everyone would watch. 

One of my observations of the 2013 critical films is that these films portray stories of people that are alone, and what I really enjoy about this film is even though many of the characters have reason to feel alone, what ultimately makes a difference in their life is their ability to reach out to others and rely on their community of broken people.

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