3. Brie Larson, ‘Short Term 12’
One of the most criminally overlooked films—and performances—of the year. In Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12, Larson plays Grace, a young supervisor at a foster care facility for at-risk teens. She struggles to connect with Marcus (Keith Stanfield), an intense loner who’s about to turn 18, age out, and be released back into his abusive home, as well as Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), her loving co-worker and boyfriend. Grace is a delicate, complicated mystery, and when a young girl arrives at the facility who reminds Grace of herself, the layers begin to unfold. Larson’s performance isn’t the showiest, but there’s a quiet, well, grace to it that lends it an air of constant intrigue. As we get closer and closer to discovering Grace’s darkest secrets, Larson takes us deeper and deeper into the soul of a selfless, courageous young woman. It’s truly a sight to behold.