Films with slower paces often exercise the philosophy that films should feel more like real life, where not every day has a major event or clear goal. Normally, I find slowly paced movies boring, but in this case it helped make it clear that the characters were the most important element of the movie.
Though I understood the filmmaker’s intent in focusing on the one supervisor, I would have liked to know more about some of the other staff at the home. Learning a lot about only a few characters and only enticing tidbits about the others feel like a teaser that never pays off.
Despite those concerns, I can hardly express how much I liked the cinematography and coloring. Both were subtle but effective. Many of the shots use a shallow depth of field, in which a specific item is in focus but behind that item is out of focus. These types of images correlate to the depth of which we learn about these children’s struggles, whether their parents abused them or they feel depressed from having no relatives alive. When the kids express their feelings of being lost and abandoned via art, music and through stories, I couldn’t help but consider myself grateful that I don’t feel as upset and angry as they do.
I hope only a few can actually relate to the characters in Short Term 12, but it is a movie that anyone can respect. This heart-wrenching tail won several awards and nominations for performances and writing from film festivals such as the Nantucket Film Festival, the Gotham Awards and many more. Check it out and don’t be surprised if you shed a tear.