Documentary-style authenticity gives this understated drama a real kick as it explores the fallout of child abuse from an angle we'd never expect. But this isn't the usual devastatingly gloomy approach, as filmmaker Cretton creates people and situations that are so honest that we have no trouble identifying with them. And he remains realistic and hopeful about the future.
The story centres on Grace (Larson), a counsellor at a short-term group home for at-risk teens. She's secretly in a relationship with her colleague Mason (Gallagher), and has a shock when she learns that she's pregnant. The real surprise is how this news dredges up memories of her own troubled childhood. But she doesn't have much time to take care of herself, because she, Mason and their coworkers (Malek and Beatriz) have a variety of kids who need their help. These include Marcus (Stanfield), who's about to turn 18 and move out on his own, and new arrival Jayden (Dever), who keeps trying to run away to see her abusive father.
Writer-director Cretton reveals Grace's personal history only as she's willing to face it herself. This allows Larson to deliver a remarkably transparent performance, as we see her confronting things she won't admit to herself. Her scenes with Gallagher are packed with jagged emotion as all of these issues swell up around them. And we can see that Mason's past in much more stable foster homes has given him more tools to handle these things.
Continue reading: Short Term 12 Review
We all have bad days, but for Driver (Gibson) his day is really taking the biscuit. It's not all bad; he's just made off with a big haul worth millions, something that would be able to secure that nice summer vacation he's been after for a while, however after the haul things begin to head south - literally!
Continue: How I Spent My Summer Vacation Trailer
After Noah Jaybird is suspended from college, he ends up living back at home with his mother, where all he does is sit and watch TV. At his mother's insistence he starts looking for jobs in town but to no avail. Finally his mother recommends babysitting and after refusing, Noah reluctantly takes up an offer of babysitting the kids next door.
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