It couldn’t be more cliché to love an indie movie because of its purity, but luckily for writer/director Daniel Cretton this happens to wholly be both subjectively and objectively true. Based on Cretton’s own work experience, Short Term 12 is the story of Grace (Brie Larson) who, with boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher, Jr.) and some other twentysomethings, run a temporary placement home for foster kids. The character-based drama is an exquisite collection of human portraits, each character damaged but struggling in his or her own special way. Cretton’s gift is how organic and present all of these people feel, from the troubled children and their desperate lives to the equally though secretly pained adults who look after them, their personality and personal sorrows unfolding for the audience like sad flowers. The film isn’t without lightness either though, each tragic moment finding graceful reprieve. Unfortunately for Cretton, the screenplay category is packed with potential candidates just as worthy of the award but with far more clout…but if he makes a trend of recreating the magic he found with Short Term 12, he’ll win the big prize eventually.