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.
A series of overlapping stories about four suburban families dealing with different maladies. Esther Gold's life is consumed by caring for her comatose son; Jim Train is sent into a ... See full summary »
Mary Kay Place
A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.
L.A. soft-porn writer Carter Webb is frustrated enough after his actress girlfriend dumps him to need a serious break. He decides to spend it with his grandmother, who can't really take ... See full summary »
A family relocates from the city to a dilapidated house in the country that was once a grand estate. As they begin to renovate the place they discover their new home harbors secrets, conceals a horrific past, and may not be free of the former inhabitants completely.
The Munns, father John and sons Chris and Tim, recede to the woods of rural Georgia. Their life together is forever changed with the arrival of Uncle Deel, though the tragedy that follows ... See full summary »
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
"Sordino," Melinda's last name, means "muted." See more »
"Melinda says the school mascot is changing from the Trojans to the Hornets. However, during the pep rally the cheerleaders are introduced as the "Merryweather Falcons"." This isn't a goof, it's a running theme through the movie as a later announcement changes the team name to the Wombats. See more »
I can react to this movie on a number of levels. First of all, it is a wonderful thing that this film was made. It deals with a very real yet very troubling issue, and handles it with sensitivity and hope. This movie has the potential to really help people, and I can't think of a better legacy for a filmmaker.
Despite all that, I wish this would have been a better movie. The pacing of the story seemed wildly out of whack and there were a couple of directorial decisions that could certainly be questioned. On the other hand, Kristen Stewart's performance in the lead role of Melinda was excellent, although the rest of the acting left me flat. (Even Steve Zahn, who I normally love, seemed a bit miscast.) And while the writing didn't grab me, there were enough light-hearted moments to make Melinda's personal anguish bearable for the audience.
Beyond cinema as therapy, the film contained meaningful insights into the potential of artistic expression in healing, the general alienation of being a freshman in high school, or the critical relationship of an individual's will and determination with the healing process. People should see this movie not because of its cinematic excellence but because it has an important and optimistic message.
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