Showing as part of a retrospective season of highlights from 2013
At a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers, Grace is a young team leader trying to do her best for kids who have often been pulled from the worst kind of domestic situations. Despite the challenging nature of her work, Grace is seemingly in a positive place both in her career and personal life, but a new arrival at the facility may prove to be her biggest challenge yet.
The words gritty, tough and even depressing may spring to mind when you hear about the world of ‘Short Term 12’, but it’s important to be clear that this isn’t a docu-drama intent on revealing the ‘truth’ about care facilities through a steady accumulation of authentic detail. Nor is the movie an obvious rallying cry against social inequality or the under-funding of state services. Instead, and perhaps surprisingly for an indie film, it’s much more apt to place it in the ‘issue-based entertainment’ bracket, attempting to draw you into its subject matter through a more familiar mode of storytelling and character development.
An equivalent example might be the way that ‘American History X’ eschewed a realistic portrayal of neo-nazi sub-culture, and instead found a way of teasing out its themes through a melodramatic redemption story.
It’s possible to argue that Short Term 12’s narrative leads it to be a little too neat in the way it addresses some of its story strands, and also in the methods it uses to escalate tension, but ultimately what holds it all together is a really strong central performance from Brie Larson (virtually unrecognisable from her ‘Scott Pilgrim’ rock star cameo), which is worth the price of admission on its own.
The film, which was based on the director’s real life experiences, premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film in the US, where it received the first of its many festival awards. The reviews stateside were almost overwhelmingly positive. Its release in the UK last November saw a slightly more reserved response, though this didn’t stop Empire magazine awarding it 5 stars and describing it as ‘Beautifully written and perfectly played, all of human life is here: the good, the bad, the messy and the uplifting’
The movie currently has a score of 8.1 out of 10 from 12,600 votes on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). It's 97mins long, so shouldn't finish too late.
Tickets are £7.50 (or £5 to Prince Charles Members) and can be bought (here)
Not a Prince Charles Member? Maybe it’s time you considered it? At £10 per year, it’s possibly the best value cinema membership in the capital (with a saving of at least £2.50 per movie). The cinema shows a mixture of recent releases and an extensive monthly programme of cult and classic movies. It’s more than likely that there will be a few more Movie Group events at this cinema before the year is out. For more membership details click (here)
(and, no, I’m not on commission, nor do I work at the cinema or know anyone who does :-] )
I will send out an e-mail with meeting details to all those who have RSVPed. We will aim to meet for a drink before the screening.