Last night I attended my second viewing of Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12 (Cinedigm, 8.23), which I saw for the first time in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. It’s basically about a small team of 20something counselors (principally Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr. and Rami Malek) at a kind of halfway facility, doing what they can to massage or otherwise chill down a group of errant kids who’ve suffered through parental-abuse issues or scrapes with the law. Hailed at last March’s South by Southwest and the winner of an Audience Award at last June’s L.A. Film Festival, it’s a real-deal, character-driven indie that delivers a plain, no-frills current that never quite feels “acted.”

Short Term 12 star Brie Larson prior to last night’s screening at Vine Street Academy theatre.

(l. to r.) Mysterious moderator, Larson, Gallagher, Dever, Malek, Stanfield and director-writer Dustin Daniel Cretton.

Costar Kaitlyn Dever.

The screening happened at the Academy theatre on 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Larson, Gallagher and Malek were joined for a post-screening q & a by Cretton and costars Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield. Two video clips from that session:

Short Term 12 “is the kind of little, hand-made film that I, a grumpy, CG-hating, Ryan Reynolds-averse seeker of au natural, character-driven dramas, hope and live for,” I wrote on 7.19. “It’s gotten a lot of hype from others who cherish indie-level films of this sort, and deservedly so. Special HE salutations for Brie Larson‘s lead performance as Grace, a low-key, secretly damaged, straight-talking supervisor at a facility for hostile, anti-social, self-destructive teens who’ve had scrapes with the law. The film plays out patiently and openly and yet efficiently, and without any attempts at forced manipulation. It’s a respectably solid piece and well worth a look-see.”

Short Term 12 director-screenwriter Dustin Daniel Cretton