7.4/10
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92 user 15 critic

Speak (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 January 2004 (USA)
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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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dick Hagerman ...
School Bus Driver
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Remy Brommer ...
Yearbook Photographer (as A. Remy Brommer)
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Grace Ameter ...
Emily
Tyanna Rolley ...
Leslie Lyles ...
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Kimberly Kish ...
Megan Pillar ...
Ivy
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Storyline

In the book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino is forced into the worst year of her life. Her best friend, Rachel Bruin, has turned against her with all other of Melinda's fellow students looking away; not daring to take a single glance at Melinda. All because of one stupid end-of-summer party. Written by Sam Gerdemann, www.centralproductionsyt.weebly.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth Will Change Everything.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a teen rape | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beszélj!  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kristen Stewart's first Sundance Film Festival selection. See more »

Goofs

In one scene Melinda and her parents are unwrapping a large box while sitting on the floor. In the next scene, the box is fully wrapped again. See more »

Quotes

Hairwoman: A revolutionary is only as good as his analysis. What does that mean?
[Melinda raises her hand]
Hairwoman: Melinda, better late than never. Why is a revolutionary only as good as his or her analysis?
Melinda Sordino: I think you should know what you stand for, not just what you're against. You should be able to show how things can be better.
Hairwoman: That's pretty darn good.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Awkward.: Pilot (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Requiem, Op. 48
Written by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Lisa Beckley, Nicholas Gedge, Colm Carey and the Schola Cantorum of Oxford conducted by Jeremy Summerty
Courtesy of Naxos by arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not your typical teen movie
6 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

This finally aired on Lifetime yesterday, and since I was such a big fan of Laurie Halse Anderson's novel, I might as well wanted to see the movie to compare them.

The first few minutes of the movie turned out to be exactly pages from the book, as well as some emotional moments that almost reduced me to tears, showed exactly the way she was feeling, and how she was connected from the moment to the school year in such depressive, mute fashion that she manages to handle so well. The story involves a teenage girl who, after calling the cops to bust a wrecked summer party, comes to acknowledge her peers won't talk to her anymore. So, what do you do when times like these come to happen? Stay silent, don't get noticed by anyone. However, there was something at the party that she doesn't want people to know, and if she tells it, it will rip and shed her into pieces. Now, your probably asking yourself? Why wouldn't you talk to your parents? She would, only that her mom (Elizabeth Perkins) and dad (D.B. Sweeney) are almost never home so that way they can talk to her about anything.

As the movie goes on, Melinda (Kirsten Stewart) begins to lighten up around the surroundings. She starts to feel into her own, and the school year (besides the fact her grades went flushing down the toilet). Melinda starts to make friends little by little, as she connects with her eccentric Art teacher Mr. Freeman (Steve Zahn). The two of them exemplify what it means to try and go against what is asked of them, and go above that to raising the bar to a whole new level of education, and life.

As for the acting, Stewart is extraordinary as the reclusive Melinda Sordino. She fits the feelings of a depressed girl, striving for help, and need from peers, not harmful words. She makes herself known around the school, as "the girl who busted Kyle Rodgers's summer party" and shows it around by the depressive acts (cutting (both class and self mutilation), making her own room, being practically mute). Stewart has the absolute potential to be another Lindsay Lohan, but in this case, she's become her own actress.

The rest of the cast could have been better, but the second runner up is Steve Zahn, whose films could have seen better days, but this film is probably his best work, compared to "Saving Silverman" or "Freak talks about Sex". He should make films like these more often than not. His portrayal of the rebellious, journeyman Mr. Freeman tell the students about themselves, and tells a small anecdote about him. His overshadowing of the students make him sound more powerful than the principal himself, and his voice strengthen amongst the weaker ones.

Powerful movie, I recommend this to anyone with teenagers, or any educational film. This is a worth to watch.

8/10.


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