First Hit: Wow, this film is powerful in its portrayal of disenchanted and hurt youth.
Disenchanted youth, mistreated kids, and the young workers who care for them is what this film gives the audience a window to. The kids at this state sponsored foster facility, don't have anywhere to go.
The day to day managing of the kids depends on young 20 year olds who work with them assisting their transitions to either a real foster home or society. It is an amazing topic and in this film it is done in an extraordinary way.
Through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson) and fellow worker Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), we enter their working world of working with a group of kids. The young workers Grace and Mason are old hands at working with these young teens and it is apparent that they’ve paid their own personal price.
Mason was lucky that he got a strong foster family that gave him roots, while Grace, had been abused and had put her father in jail after her mother’s death. Afraid of getting close and opening to another human is Grace’s Achilles heel, but the kids she works with teach her how.
The other actors were phenomenal in portraying the symptoms of the kids. Two of the most powerful storylines were Marcus (Keith Stanfield) and Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever). Their stories unfold before the audience and one cannot help but feel engaged and hopeful.
Larson was great and I fully believed her struggles and how he shared them in her role. Gallagher was immensely sweet and wonderful as Grace’s boyfriend and associate. Stanfield was sublime as the quiet loaner who is concerned about his going into the world and being whole. Dever was perfect as the girl, slowly hurting herself into silence and submission. Destin Cretton wrote and directed this amazing film that shows the power of family regardless of how it is constructed.
Overall: A very strong film.