Short Term 12 is one of the few movies that resonate with me because it accurately captures the emotions the characters are going through while making them extremely relatable. In one short sequence, the director perfectly illustrates the feeling that comes when you realize people care about you through the way he constructed the sequence.
At about two minutes in length, this short sequence gives us a lot of information at a fast pace that end up paying off by becoming one of the many emotional moments in the film. The director, Destin Daniel Cretton, guides use through the reveal towards the end of the sequence.
First, we get an understanding that Jayden is in the cool-down room -- which means she isn't around. Immediately afterwards we see Marcus come in with a box of arts and crafts. By cutting to the next scene before the audience can actually see what's happening comes off as confusing but it's, obviously, the first clue into whats happening.
We then see two of the other kids leave a bedroom before Jayden enters. She walks in slow and with a somewhat somber look on her face. Once the camera cuts to her bed, Cretton gives the audience an answer to what the kids were doing earlier while delivering an extremely emotional moment.
During the quick birthday celebration scene, Cretton gives us the consequence or result of the previous scenes. We see Jayden (who at the beginning of the sequence was involved in a physical altercation) open up and participate in a group activity.
This is definitely an emotion and feeling I can definitely relate to. I've never been an open person and a lot of that has to do with my experiences being surrounded by negative people (much like the characters in the film). The way Cretton constructs sequence shows us the full range of emotions that you experience when realizing there are people that care about you.
If you still haven't seen Short Term 12, please, please, please, try your best to see it as soon as possible for more moments like this one.