"Short Term 12" premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival to glowing reviews. The film stars Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr.( from the musical "Spring Awakening"), and Kaitlyn Dever. "Short Term 12" looks at the life of Grace (Larson) a twenty something year old who manages a short term facility for at risk teenagers.
The film takes a harrowing look at how childhood experiences effect people once they reach adulthood. Grace, in particular, is a fantastic counselor to the teens in her care yet her own dark past makes her unable to properly relate to her boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher, Jr.). Mason on the other hand also shares a troubled childhood yet his bubbly and charming personality provides much of the comic relief of the movie.
The past Grace tries so hard to ignore comes to the forefront when a new teen, Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) comes to the facility. The similarities between herself and Jayden send Grace on a downward spiral of her own making. Brie Larson does a great job demonstrating the conflicting nature of Grace's personality. Dever also gives a realistic and moving performance as the sardonic teen. However, besides Larson, the standout of the film is Keith Stanfield as Marcus, another teen at Short Term 12.
Marcus is a quiet boy who will be kicked out of the facility on his upcoming eighteenth birthday. Throughout the whole film he tries to temper his brimming rage and fear at heading back out into the "real world." One scene in particular where Marcus shares a rap he wrote with Mason is perhaps the best scene captured on film this year. Stanfield manages to portray so many emotions in a single look that it's hard to take your eyes off him when he's in a scene.