Short Term 12

****Short term 12

Short Term 12- rm This  film slices into the tragic plight of children who are deprived of a decent childhood because of circumstances of poverty and /or parental abuse.  The setting is a lovely group home that houses what appears to be a dozen youth for a varying amount of time who range  from preteen to age 18 when they must move on. We meet Sammy (Alex Calloway) a wide eyed young boy who is either trying to run for freedom or  is lost in his world of toy figures, Marcus,  (Keith Stanfield)an older teen boy who is filled with anger and hurt which he expresses through rapping and Jayden, (Kaitlyn Dever) a teenage girl who holds her story inside while she makes her self bleed or has terrifying fantasies. The staff seem to be mostly 20 something young people two of whom we get to know. Grace (Brie Larson) is a very capable counselor who related extremely well to her charges and who gradually reveals her own past life, mainly that her father is  serving a 10 year jail term for deeds he did to her and will be soon released. The other staff member who we come to know is Mason (William Gallager Jr, the actor who plays the likeable young news producer on the TV series Newsroom). Mason is a grateful success story, having been raised by foster parents who recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. Outside of work he and Grace are a couple whose relationship is tested when she reveals the old and a new important event  of her life that will impact on both of them. The screenplay by director/writer Destin Cretton shows how hurt, angry mistreated young people can feel. We also see the difference it can make when someone understands, empathizes and even identifies with them. From our experience as therapists we know how youthful traumatic experiences which can disrupt personality development may bring about cutting and self destructive behavior that were shown in this film. The road to a happy ending requires time in therapy that these characters were just beginning. While this piece of reality may have been somewhat minimized in this story, the overall film experience was absorbing, insightful and very uplifting. (2013)

Category: 4 Stars, Drama | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Comment »

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