Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Short Term 12

Reviews - Short Term 12

Short Term 12

Reviewed By Vaughan Ames

Short Term 12
Short Term 12
"Short term 12" was a much more sugary pill [than Wadjda], possibly too sweet for many in the audience. Set in a 'temporary' home for troubled teenagers in America, we were quickly introduced to the staff, a handful of very young adults who seemed incredibly good at helping the kids, despite the instruction 'you are here to give them a safe environment, not to become their friend'. The kids were mainly there to supply the background to the story, the big events being shared between two kids and the 'secret' love affair between Grace and Mason, their carers.

Marcus is nearly 18 and about to leave the home, but doesn't want to; he has nowhere to go and a huge weight on his shoulders over his mother rejecting him. One of the high points for me was a rap he wrote and spoke which showed his anger beautifully and made me mad at society for him.

Jayden, a beautiful but broken 17 year old turns up, waiting for her Dad to come and take her home. He doesn't, of course, leaving Grace to work out that he has been abusing her. Back to Grace and Mason; they are obviously in love, and we find out that Grace is pregnant; will she tell Mason, or is her troubled past going to prevent her happiness? All is looking bad, when Jayden's problems turn out to be Grace's too; Grace's father, who she has had jailed for what he did to her, is to be released from prison next week.

What follows is either too impossible to believe (which some in the audience felt) or a great idea for therapy; Grace goes round to find Jayden at her fathers, intending to kill him and 'save' Jayden. Fortunately, Jayden stops her and they share a baseball bat to smash up the father's car. Feeling better, Grace goes back to Mason and all ends happily. Impossible? Well, probably, but the film did bring out some huge problems with unwanted and abused kids, whilst remaining up beat; not an easy task, and most people left the cinema having enjoyed this double 'feelgood' bonanza.

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19th Keswick Film Festival

22nd-25th February 2018


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