Short Term 12: A Heart-rending Indie Drama

Just as I promised on Instagram (as soon NaNoWriMo was over, I’d be back) … here I am! Turns out it can be a bit tricky to juggle both writing a novel and blogging regularly, but December’s here and we’re back in business. I have a rule of sorts that come December 1st ’tis the season to watch Christmas movies; however, this time I want to recommend you a non-Christmas movie (there’s plenty of time for holiday films)—Short Term 12 (2013).

Why Short Term 12?

Short Term 12 (2013) is one of those movies you might’ve heard about but didn’t have enough info on to give it a chance.

First of all, it stars Brie Larson, one of the most talented younger actresses of today who literally outshines every single movie she’s in. (For reference see also: Free Fire. An entirely mediocre film that should’ve been great, but thank God for Brie Larson!) Still, Brie’s definitely not alone in this; all the other performances are just as convincing and raw.

Secondly, Short Term 12‘s one of those dramas I’d actually play in schools as part of mandatory education. Both children and adults would have a lot to learn from it, especially on the topic of dealing with trauma and its complexity and the no-bullshit, sincere ways of approaching kids with difficult life experiences (that’s a euphemism, by the way; these kids really don’t have it easy in the slightest).

Brie Larson in Short Term 12 (2013)

Thirdly, it’s a gorgeous indie movie from start to finish. It brims with warmth and hope, even at its bleakest. Not everyone will react to it the same way, surely, but it managed to shake me to my core in a cathartic, beautiful way and if it does the same to you, then mission accomplished. Plus, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it for hours (or days) to come. That’s a promise.

When to Watch Short Term 12

So, when should you watch Short Term 12?

  • When in the mood for a (heavier) drama.
  • When in the mood for crying and a bit of heartbreak.
  • When you’re tired of huge Hollywood movies and would much rather watch a quiet indie flick with semi-unknown actors (who are well on their way to becoming the next Big Stars, if their talent is any indicator).
  • When in the mood for slower, but stellar storytelling.
  • When you just want to stay in bed, hugging nothing but a box of Kleenex or whichever brand of tissues works best for you.

Oh, It’s Crying Time Again… If You’re Like Me, That Is

I understand this movie may not be everyone’s cup of tea (but is any movie?). Still, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and, more importantly, hope to see you aboard the Brie Larson Is Amazing train, if you aren’t already on it. That’s it from me for now and I’ll see you soon, lazy Sundayers!

Gif disclaimer: Curse you, Google, for linking to Giphy instead of the original source! So, simply tell me the gif is yours and I’ll gladly credit you.

 

Carol (2015): A Most Personal Photograph of Two People in Love

And now for something completely different, but just as ideal for a slow weekend at home—Todd Haynes’ Carol (2015).

Why You Should Watch Carol

Carol is, quite simply, a gorgeous film. Between the stellar, yet subtly touching performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and the movie’s wistful soundtrack, Carol is a magnificent journey from start to finish. I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it and I truly can’t wait for you to experience them, too.

Rooney Mara in Carol (2015)

Furthermore, Carol belongs in a very special movie category in my mind that only a handful of films befit, movies like A Single Man (2009), The Hours (2002), Moonlight (2016), In the Mood for Love (2000). Each gorgeous in its own way, each deeply intimate. They will make you feel like you’re falling straight into someone’s very personal photograph and being immersed in their lives so intensely, so wholly.

When to Watch Carol (2015)

We’ve covered the whys. Let’s move on to the whens.

  • Watch Carol when in the mood for a tender, intimate, sincere love story.
  • When life gets slow, so comfortably slow.
  • On a rainy, melancholy afternoon.
  • When you’re feeling alone and lonely, but don’t really want to change that state of mind.
  • When you need to feel serene.
  • At Christmastime.

All right, your turn—is Carol your choice of a lazy Sunday afternoon movie? And, in case this is your first encounter with the film, don’t forget to let me know how it made you feel. Bonus points if there’s a tear or two!

Disclaimer, yet again: Your gif? Let me know, I’ll be delighted to credit you. Piece of cake.