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.
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The young adolescent Melinda Sordino arrives at high school feeling confused, depressed and alone. Her school peers call her "squealer", because she alerted the police during a summer party after she was sexually assaulted by Andy Evans. She refuses to tell anyone the events that took place. Her depression and distance from people is made worse by the increasingly large gap between her and her parents. She finds great support with her art teacher Mr. Freeman and her school friend David Petrakis. Her feelings threaten to engulf her but Melinda learns to grow from her experiences instead of repressing the past emotions that have scarred her for the rest of her life. Written by
Andrew Rodriguez, Tinton Falls New Jersey
A downpour during the filming of some outdoor party scenes required the on-the-spot alteration of a few key sequences, including the replacement of some underage extras by miscellaneous crew members. Also, the indoor scene in which Andy Evans Eric Lively towels Melinda's (Kristen Stewart's) hair dry was a last minute improvisation due to the unexpected rain. See more »
When Melinda tells Rachael about the rape, she is wearing two orange shirts, and the next day when Rachael confronts Andy, Melinda is seen wearing a different, long sleeved orange shirt. However, when Melinda talks to her father on the front porch she is back in the two orange shirts again. See more »
The teenager Melinda Sordino (Kristen Stewart) joins the high-school with a great feeling of rejection and becomes practically mute. Her school mates and friends call her "squealer", because she called the police during a summer party; she does not have communication with her mother, Joyce Sordino (Elizabeth Perkins), who is workaholic and is permanently busy; and she has problem with a very radical teacher. She finds a great support with her arts teacher Mr. Freeman (Steve Zahn) and her school friend David Petrakis (Michael Angarano), and recalls her traumatic experience in the summer school, when she was raped, learning how to deal with the situation and reborn mature.
"Speak" is a very simple and linear story, and even in the trailer the predictable trauma of Melinda is disclosed; therefore there are no surprises, plot point or mystery to have a twist in the story. What makes "Speak" a little gem and so special are the realistic story, the excellent direction and the stunning performances, mainly of Kristen Stewart in the role of the traumatized Melinda, learning how to deal with her rape and later rejection by the mates by herself. Steve Zahn is also great in a mature role (I believe this is the first time I see him in this type of character) of a supportive school teacher. The nominations and award of the sensitive director Jessica Sharzer are very fair, but I believe Kristen Stewart deserved also a nomination for her brilliant and awesome performance. I would like to recommend this movie for parents of teenagers. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "O Silêncio de Melinda" ("The Silence of Melinda")
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