Brie Larson and Short Term 12 got some Oscar buzz (but were ultimately denied a nomination) for her role as Grace, a supervisor at a foster-care building full of angry and depressed teens. Larson is quite good, as is co-star John Gallagher Jr. as Mason, her boyfriend and fellow supervisor.
The film plays like a sort of juvenile One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, except that Grace is a helluva lot nicer than Nurse Ratched, and none of the teens really have the exuberance of Jack Nicholson’s McMurphy. In fact, Grace is compassionate to an extreme, which leads to some conflicts of interest when dealing with one particular girl (Kaitlyn Dever). The girl has similar problems to those suffered by Grace during her youth, so Grace gets a little too proactive—and jeopardizes her standing at the foster home.
Some of the kids are interesting, especially Keith Stanfield as Marcus, a suicidal teen slated to be released to his lousy mom. Overall, the cast is impressive, and the movie works on most levels. It’s certainly worth seeing for Larson and Gallagher, who are a mighty convincing couple.
Special Features: The film is based on a short film, which is included on the disc. You also get deleted scenes, a documentary on the film’s music, and some behind-the-scenes material.