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Article – Short Term 12


Posted August 13, 2014 by

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Short Term 12

Short Term 12 is an indie American drama which focuses on the character Grace (played by Brie Larson) who works as a supervisor at a foster-care home for teens. The story revolves around Grace, her boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr) and two teens, one of which will be leaving soon as he turns 18 and another who has just arrived trying to get to grips with what’s going on.


The narrative of the film is very realistic as it takes an in depth look at this group of characters each with their own problems yet they are all connected. The two teen, one of which has had a difficult childhood and is soon leaving the safe premises of his new home struggles to come to terms with this. He protects himself with people by being a silent character and acting angry all the time. The other teen character has just arrived having been left by her abusive father. She struggles to even interact with anyone there and refuses to be a part of what’s going on. Then we have Grace and Mason. Grace is the main character, bringing everything together. She has a hidden history with her father being in prison. Mason is the support character for her. He tries to be there and manages to for a time. There all very compelling and vastly interesting characters.


All of this is balanced with the cinematography which uses wide open rooms to show the characters isolation, disengagement and being cut off from the world and others. It all mixes together extremely well. Its interesting to find that this film began as the directors final year at University short film and in a few short years he has managed to adapt it into a feature film and a striking one at that. It shows a new age of film we are in with people being given the chance to prove themselves with a story that might not necessarily work but yet it does and yes it is engaging. We can connect to it all in one way or another as we have all once been in that situation of feeling lost and alone.


The story, structure and characters all work together as one and don’t feel forced or rammed down your throat in anyway. It takes its time for you as the audience to get to now and figure out the characters, becoming a part of their life and understanding them with what they’re going through. It’s a very touching film and makes way for more realistic styling and structure of this kind.

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 Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 19.22.36

Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor


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