Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12 (Cinedigm, 8.23) 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. 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.

Brie Larson at NeueHouse, 110 East 25th Street — Thursday, 7.18, 1:55 pm.

Somehow it got turned down by Sundance (!) and made its way to South by Southwest, where it was widely embraced. I have to leave now for Beach Haven, New Jersey (my first and only exposure to a traditional summer weekend) but I’ll get into this over the weekend.

I will always frown at any film that passes along any joke or story about anyone crapping his pants, but I was able to easily forgive Cretton’s film for this, and that’s saying something.

Short Term 12 director-writer Destin Daniel Cretton — Thursday, 7.18, 1:35 pm.

Peggy Siegal threw a Short Term 12 party at Circo (West 55th near Sixth Avenue) following Tuesday night’s screening.

Destin Daniel Cretton.