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.
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
Filming was temporarily cut short at the school where certain scenes were shot because of flooding during an especially heavy summer rain. See more »
When Melinda tells Rachael about the rape, she is wearing two orange shirts, and the next day when Rachael confronts Andy, Melinda is seen wearing a different, long sleeved orange shirt. However, when Melinda talks to her father on the front porch she is back in the two orange shirts again. See more »
The teenager Melinda Sordino (Kristen Stewart) joins the high-school with a great feeling of rejection and becomes practically mute. Her school mates and friends call her "squealer", because she called the police during a summer party; she does not have communication with her mother, Joyce Sordino (Elizabeth Perkins), who is workaholic and is permanently busy; and she has problem with a very radical teacher. She finds a great support with her arts teacher Mr. Freeman (Steve Zahn) and her school friend David Petrakis (Michael Angarano), and recalls her traumatic experience in the summer school, when she was raped, learning how to deal with the situation and reborn mature.
"Speak" is a very simple and linear story, and even in the trailer the predictable trauma of Melinda is disclosed; therefore there are no surprises, plot point or mystery to have a twist in the story. What makes "Speak" a little gem and so special are the realistic story, the excellent direction and the stunning performances, mainly of Kristen Stewart in the role of the traumatized Melinda, learning how to deal with her rape and later rejection by the mates by herself. Steve Zahn is also great in a mature role (I believe this is the first time I see him in this type of character) of a supportive school teacher. The nominations and award of the sensitive director Jessica Sharzer are very fair, but I believe Kristen Stewart deserved also a nomination for her brilliant and awesome performance. I would like to recommend this movie for parents of teenagers. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "O Silêncio de Melinda" ("The Silence of Melinda")
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