on foster care issues:

Movie Review – Short Term 12 – by Pam Pierce

FC2S Staff | September 4th, 2013

We have a special movie review this week from Pam Pierce, retention specialist at Foster Care to Success. Check out her review below.

short term 12Movies about kids in the foster system tend to go one of two directions. The movies may be so sweet that watching them reminds you of that moment when the syrup just clots all over your pancake or they leave you searching for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to numb the pain. “Short Term 12″ is none of those things. It dares to do the unusual in movies. The film poses complex questions while still also providing an ending and a sense of closure. I can promise that throughout the movie you will feel the reality of this particular group home, but like life it will feel sweet, bitter, and everything in between.

The film stars relative newcomer Brie Larson as Grace, the director of this group home. Larson can previously be seen as the petulant teenager in Showtime’s “The United States of Tara.” In this role, Grace seesaws between contentment in a stable, loving relationships and complete, crazy anxiety as she sees her own issues reflected in one of the teens in her care. “Short Term 12″ also shows what this group of kids might look like to a relative outsider. In one of the film’s earlier scenes, Nate, a new employee, expresses his desire to work with “underprivileged kids.” He uses this phrase in a community meeting. The students immediately challenge him. Grace also confronts the limitations of the system wMovies about kids in the foster system tend to go one of two directions. The movies may be so sweet that watching them reminds you of that moment when the syrup just clots all over your pancake or they leave you searching for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to numb the pain. “Short Term 12″ is none of those things. It dares to do the unusual in movies. The film poses complex questions while still also providing an ending and a sense of closure. I can promise that throughout the movie you will feel the reality of this particular group home, but like life it will feel sweet, bitter, and everything in between.

In the end, the syrup within “Short Term 12″ leaves the bottle at just the right pace. Those who have been in group homes or worked within them may see their reality reflected in a way that is realistic, challenging, and yet optimistic.

Watch the preview here:

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