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Speak (2004)

 -  Drama  -  20 January 2004 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 15,740 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 11 critic

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Andy Evans
Leslie Lyles ...
Hairwoman
...
Joyce Sordino
...
Heather
...
Jack Sordino
...
Mr. Freeman
Dick Hagerman ...
School bus driver
Remy Brommer ...
Todd (as A. Remy Brommer)
Grace Ameter ...
Emily
Tyanna Rolley ...
Nicole
Kimberly Kish ...
Ms. Keen
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add 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:

BeszĂ©lj!  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rape scene was originally supposed to take place in the woods. However, shortly before filming, Kristen Stewart discovered she had an allergy to the grass that caused her to rash, so the scene was moved to a car. When she's walking home from the party, there are leaves on her back because that scene was filmed before she learned of the allergy. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mr. Freeman: Hey! You're the tree. Uh, you can eat lunch in here if you want. It's against school rules but I'm kind of a rebel.
[gives Melinda sheet of paper]
Mr. Freeman: Wow, uh. It's not a place mat. The rule is if you're gonna be in here you need to be working, so choose your weapon.
[puts pencils in front of Melinda]
Mr. Freeman: Do something. Anything. Hey, does this inspire you?
[points to radio]
Mr. Freeman: No?
[changes radio station]
Mr. Freeman: Hmm?
[Melinda nods yes]
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Requiem, Op. 48
written by: Gabriel Faure
performed by Lisa Beckley, Nicholas Gedge, Colm Carey, and the Scholas 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 (United States) – 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.


29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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