Somewhat slighter than the festival raves would have you expect, Destin Cretton's indie flick is nonetheless a wholly affecting, gently nuanced drama - and a portfolio piece for rising star Brie Larson.
The film succeeds by its simple storytelling technique - no explosions, no sweeping music signaling emotional peaks, no big reveals. It's just unsuperhumans...hoping to scratch out some joy and ward off the shadow of loneliness.
Set inside a group home for troubled teenagers, this film proceeds with seemingly unforced naturalism to tell stories about ordinary lives whose problems unfold into understanding rather than melodrama
Along the way all the characters' stories seamlessly and elegantly ripple into each other to form conclusions that contradict current social and political tendencies and movements that promote alienation and detachment.