Watch It Now!: “Short Term 12”

What to Watch Now will be on ongoing recommendation series here at filmmixtape. Our first in the series is a staple on Netflix and chances are I’ve already given you a breathless recommendation and demanded you watch it immediately. The films spends a few days in a short-term care facility for troubled youths, detailing the struggles of the residents and their caretakers. Refreshingly honest and believable, this one sticks.

You’ll certainly be hearing about Short Term 12 thanks to what is, by first reports, another major performance from Brie Larson in Room. Indeed, her performance in 12 remains as fully realized and lived-in on multiple viewings as it does on first discovery. You can see how she’s be a natural fit for Room‘s Ma, given her ability to portray deep inner complexity wordlessly and her natural warmth and skill working with young actors.


But this isn’t a film about just one performance. It has a major debut from Keith Stanfield (recently of Straight Outta Compton and Selma), whose introverted performance brings the film’s centerpiece: a life’s worth of backstory in a brief rap “So You Know What It’s Like.” It’s one of the film’s many heartbreaks, one of the many moments of voices often unheard or ignored getting to voice their experience.

This is a film with a warm heart constantly subverting the harsh realities, confidently embodied by John Gallagher, Jr. He starts the movie with a poop joke, after all, but he’s also 12‘s compassionate, open-hearted core.

Again, you’ll hear plenty about Short Term 12 from this space in the future, as there is truly that much to talk about.

It is available now on Netflix Instant. Take to the comments and tell us what you think!

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