Short Term 12

A small film with a powerful message.

Bolstered by the spirited performance of its Changed Main Character Grace (Brie Larson), Short Term 12 tells the familiar in a fresh and inviting way. New arrival Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) fulfills the Influence Character role by sharing some of Grace's troubled past, yet still struggling with how to deal with it. As their relationship grows, so do both principals--butting heads and coming to terms with their different ways of seeing the world. Their Relationship Throughline culminates with Grace changing her Resolve and becoming more Self-aware in response to Jayden's steadfastness.

Great stories work this way: two different perspectives--similar in ways, different in others--clash in conflict until one gives way to the other.

The Objective Story Throughline, that of the foster-care facility and those who seek refuge in it, takes a backseat to the aforementioned throughlines, yet still manages to provide that needed logical complement to the strong emotions described above. One could argue that the bookend devices featuring Sammy (Alex Calloway) provide equal emotion, but truthfully that heartwarming feeling one feels throughout the final scene rests more on the multi-appreciation moment of Story Outcome of Success and Story Judgment of Good).

Short Term 12 scored 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The reason rests firmly in the hands of the story's natural and effective structure.