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Speak (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  20 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 19,345 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 13 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.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joyce Sordino
Dick Hagerman ...
School Bus Driver
Remy Brommer ...
Yearbook Photographer (as A. Remy Brommer)
Grace Ameter ...
Tyanna Rolley ...
Leslie Lyles ...
Kimberly Kish ...
Ms. Keen
Megan Pillar ...
Jack Sordino


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


The Truth Will Change Everything.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beszélj!  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


At the party, when Rachel slaps Melinda after learning that Melinda called the cops, Rachel's hair is straight. However, when Rachel gets into the car with her friends that are trying to escape, her hair is curly. See more »


Melinda Sordino: Heather has found a clan. The Marthas. Very Connecticut. Very prep. I suspect money changed hands.
See more »


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


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
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User Reviews

A faithful, moving adaptation of a wonderful book.
24 January 2004 | by (Salt Lake City, UT) – See all my reviews

I was luck enough to see this film at Sundance. I'd read the book when it came out and loved it, but wasn't sure how it would translate to film, given that the main character really doesn't talk at all in the book. Jessica Sharzer's adaptation handles all of the potential problems beautifully, without changing the fundamental story and using voiceover only sparingly. What really makes the movie, though, is Kristen Stewart's complete embodiment of Melinda. She does things with her face that actors twice her age with twice her experience only wish they could do. Though the film is not at all didactic in nature, it would be a great one for teens to see with their parents. Lots of good material for discussion. It's great to see Laurie Halse Anderson's wonderful book get the screen treatment it deserves. If you like this movie, you might also like BLUE CAR, MANNY & LO, and THE CHOCOLATE WAR.

40 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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