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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SPEAK follows six unforgettable characters as they prepare to compete for the title, "World Champion of Public Speaking." SPEAK is a powerful, inspiring documentary about conquering life's hurdles and finding your voice.
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 »
The mashed potatoes thrown on Melinda's shirt changes between shots. When we first see it, the spot is large and the next time we see it, it's smaller and more flat. See more »
[looking at Melinda's art project]
It's scary. Like, in a weird. way. Not clown scary. How do I say this? It's like you don't want to look at it for too long.
Excellent. This is excellent.
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Kristen Stewart proves herself to be our next great actress
More than anything, watch SPEAK for Kristen Stewart's raw, honest, beautiful performance. This young actress can convey more with one look than most veterans can with an entire monologue. She reminds me of a young Mary Louise Parker. And as a director, she shot up on my wish list of people I'd one day like to work with!
Aside from Stewart, the film is very well directed, tightly scripted...Steve Zahn is quite good as the art teacher with the heart of gold...
And I love the score, which owes a lot to Neutral Milk Hotel.
But really it's all about Stewart. There isn't one beat of her performance which does not ring true.
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