After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.
Robert John Burke
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
At the edge of adolescence, Tracy is a smart straight-A student--if not a little naive (it seems...she smokes and she cuts to alleviate the emotional pain she suffers from having a broken home and hating her mom's boyfriend, Brady.) When she befriends Evie, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Evie leads Tracy down a path of sex, drugs and petty crime (like stealing money from purses and from stores). As Tracy transforms herself and her identity, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother--as well as, teachers and old friends. Written by
How did Holly Hunter not win that Oscar? Why weren't Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed at least nominated, let alone winners?
I have seen many films in my time, and none have held such great performances as this, and few have spoken to the audience in such a powerful way.
Holly Hunter, who is always superb, outdid herself in the role of Mel, the caring mother who doesn't know when to put a tighter grip on her daughter, Tracy. Her performance is so touching, and so painful that you want to get inside her and show her what she needs to do.
Evan Rachel Wood is outstanding as Tracy, the young girl who so desperately wants to fit in, and will go to any lengths to get that. Wood is always good, but she too has outdone herself, and perfectly nailed the role of Tracy. Not once does she come across as a pretentious actress trying to act like a teen.
Nikki Reed, who was introduced by this film, delivers a performance that is worth the ticket fare alone. Evie is so manipulative, so seductive, and so real that you can't possibly blame Tracy for wanting to be like her.
Whoever it is who decides who gets the Oscars - wake up and realise that you need to award these to the performances, not the actors who wear the nicer dresses!
Thirteen is one of the more powerful pieces of cinema around. The camera probes right into the livers of our protagonists, denying anyone the joy if seeing this grim masterpiece from a safe distance. The soundtrack rocks along to the emotions of the characters. The performances create not only a good film, but a little disturbing slice of life.
Having seen Thirteen, I now understand why people label some films as important. this is certainly one of them.
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