Short Term 12 (2013)
by sfe medusa
(dir. Destin Daniel Cretton)
I’m often hesitant in liking this genre of twee indie cinema; I’m not a Wes Anderson fan and I only just managed to sit through Martha Marcy May Marlene, despite it’s rather good quality. I was pretty embarrassed, then, when I started welling up at several points during Short Term 12, due to some incredibly heart-breaking performances from the lead, Brie Larson, and supporting actor Keith Stanfield.
However, I’m slightly wary of the ease with which sentiment can push my waterworks buttons, and the too-clean, verging on unrealistic conclusion of this film almost nullifies the impact of the (very real, very well written) issues raised throughout. Nevertheless, the originality of the dialogue and likeable characters contribute to the pervasive tenderness of the feature; it certainly captures moments, however contrived they may be. Short Term 12 captures your attention, your empathy, and probably your heart as well, for a short term moment.
I’d say it falls into a particular category shared with a worrying amount of films I’ve seen recently: the “enjoyable to watch but once ended, feels vacuous” category.