Short Term 12
Sacramento native Brie Larson gives one of the best performances of the year in Short Term 12, an affecting drama from writer-director Dustin Cretton. Larson plays Grace, the empathetic supervisor at a short-term housing facility for troubled youth. The Short Term 12 facility is not technically a detention center, so Grace and her co-workers have to be part big brother/sister, part dormitory resident adviser and part prison guard. Although Grace is fair and level-headed in a job with nebulous boundaries, her own troubled childhood still defines her messy personal life, including an unplanned pregnancy that she may not carry to term. Short Term 12 is based on Cretton's own experiences working at a similar facility, and although that causes him to compassionately offer oversimplified solutions to his characters' realistic problems, it also results in some very raw and honest performances.