Short Term 12 (2013), Dir. Destin Cretton

Short Term 12 (2013), Dir. Destin Cretton
Last night, that girl sat next to me and she cried and she tried to tell me the only way she knew how.
— Grace, Short Term 12 (2013)

Stars: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield, Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz, Kevin Hernandez, Frantz Turner, Alex Calloway.
Director: Destin Cretton
Screenplay: Destin Cretton

Feeling. This movie is best classed in a feeling. A feeling that I can't describe but it incases you in this world from its opening scene. A feeling that keeps you inside the world that wraps you up in a warm blanket. It is cozy, welcoming, even if the content has you at moments trying to escape the cocoon it is holding you in.

Brie Larson as Grace trains your eyes to simply follow her along the screen, no matter where she is your eye is guided her. You can't escape her presence as she is so intriguing you want to watch her, analyse her, get into her head while at the same time wanting to give her her space. Grace is a woman who you may have encountered before. She is a woman who is so calming that you can feel comfortable enough to open up around her. She is also the woman who is the opposite of what she seems in public. She is reserved and closed off to anyone who wants to crack open her shell. The keeps people at a distance, and then expands that distance when she can't cope with what is going on in her head. But this makes you root for her, you want her to have her space in this film, no matter how nice her boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.) is, you need her to have her own space as you can see her need to run away from him.

She is a complex character that you don't normally get to see on the screen. She is annoyingly real, just because she can cope in the world of helping others that doesn't mean she is able to reflect that onto herself. Just like the real world not everything works the way you want it to. Being a supportive partner doesn't mean that someone is able to open up to you. At times that person is going to need space that sometimes you can't give to them. Not because you are overbearing but because you want to help them when space is what that actually need.

Keith Stanfield's Marcus is also a thoroughly intriguing character. He is a quiet figure that has a lot going on in his head. When he says something there is a reason for those words. Whether they are softly spoken or in rap.

This film bookends itself, it starts how it begins. Though it is so similar to to beginning you know these characters have gone through a change. An internalised change, nothing that the everyday person can see. A change that is slow and only just beginning. A change that may not be permanent, they may fall backwards in their journey. But that is understandable because no one's journey is straightforward, no one really ever has their life together. We are ever evolving as beings and these characters are real in a sense that they follow that journey.

Amazing performances from Larson, Rami Malek, Stanfield, and Kaitlyn Dever.