Cretton, a Hawaii native who picked pineapples on his summer vacations, gathered his experiences working in the group home and created a short film that turned into Short Term 12, his award-winning indie that opens this Friday at the Colony. The film stars the suddenly ubiquitous Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now, Don Jon, The United States of Tara) as Grace, a young, serious and sensitive supervisor at a group foster care facility, where she works alongside her nice-guy boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr.).
The film, which explores the challenges they face with incoming charges, as well as the terms of their own relationship, was a consensus hit at SXSW 2013 in Austin, Texas, winning both a jury award and an audience award. The reviews have been just as warm, with more than one critic calling Larson's performance a "revelation." —David Fellerath