Speak (2004) Poster

(2004)

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Not bad at all
Dave McDave12 December 2004
I just finished watching this film and decided that I should say something about it. Firstly, Wow! Kristen Stewart. There is an actress with a great future. An impressive performance. The support cast, which it must be remembered, play a fairly incidental role in this film, were adequate at allowing her to shine through. The Directing was solid. I didn't get lost, it wasn't all over the place.

Plotwise, I was quietly moved. I had seen this film on cable a couple of times before and just flicked passed it thinking it was just more "made for TV" crapola, but tonight I tuned in at the beginning and failed to channel surf away. I stuck with it till the end, and if anything, was sorry that it was over. It managed to suck me right into the story, I wanted to see where I was being taken.

It's not a bold film, even though it discusses a challenging topic. I was worried the Teen Angst Engine may kick in, and was glad to see it nowhere in sight. It was a film that left me thoughtful, and wanting to tell someone to give it a chance.... so... give it a chance, I thought it was worth it.
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10/10
A Beautiful Piece of Work
KM_39111 February 2004
I saw this movie at Sundance and was very surprised that it went home with no awards. Though I'm not familiar with the book, I can say that Jessica Scharzer does a masterful job of telling a delicate story in a very real and touching way. It is never easy to handle a story about a traumatizing event, but to do it with such sensitivity, in the midst of a HILARIOUS movie, is pure genius. A great deal of the credit must go to Kristen Stewart for her portrayal of a girl whose emotions are always known to the audience, though she hardly ever says a word. Anyone who has been to high school should get a big kick from some of the send-ups in "Speak." And for anyone who has doubted the talents of Steve Zahn, just look for the scene where he sees what Melinda (Stewart) has done in the supply closet.

I hope to see this movie in theaters soon, and I give it my highest recommendation. And no, I don't know anyone who was involved with it. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. Go see this movie!
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9/10
Kristen Stewart Should Have a Lot of Fans After This Performance
aimless-466 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In my review a year ago of "Catch That Kid", I referred to Kristen Stewart as a young Portman/Knightley. Most people thought I was going a bit overboard but with her performance in "Speak" I feel even more confident of my assessment. Although "Speak" was shot within a few months of "Catch That Kid" Stewart looks considerably older, with the Portman/Knightley connection even more obvious. Her understated performance as Melinda Sordino is absolutely riveting. Stewart's performance is critical to this film because she is not just the central character but also the narrator, the entire story is told from her point of view.

Cinematographer Andrij Parekh gets maximum effect from the camera as the film is filled with tight shots of Stewart's face and eyes. Director Jesseca Sharzer gets an incredible non-verbal performance from Stewart which is nicely offset by the voice-over narration. Like the narration in "The Opposite of Sex" and "Girl" this helps relieve the intensity and introduces some wry humor into the story. I particularly liked Stewart's offhand voice-over on her way to the principal's office: "I forgot that the suffragettes were hauled off to jail, duh".

Melinda's flat and distanced narration is often contradicted by the crushing emotional trauma she is experiencing on the screen, this dichotomy is a very effective way to illustrate her inner strength and multi-dimensionality.

Parekh complements his close work with interesting short focal transitions and some good exterior shots. One especially nice one is when Stewart is walking in the distance and the focus slowly changes to highlight a bee and a flower in the foreground.

Like "Welcome to the Dollhouse", the adult roles are a bit extreme but the student roles are very convincing.

Interestingly, the climatic scene actually occurs about 15 minutes before the ending. Melinda's rejuvenation happens during her impromptu hospital visit, her voice-over reflects this change: "It happened. There's no avoiding it. No forgetting." Strong again she dumps Heather, plays a killer set of tennis, and bicycles to the scene of last summer's party where she confronts what happened to her and decides to tell Rachel. The tree that inspired her painting helps tie everything together.

Virtually everyone should find this film engrossing, but it will especially appeal to those who like to see their heroines get stronger as a story progresses.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

NOTES ON THE ADAPTATION: A personal visualization process occurs when reading a book that often makes its movie adaptation less powerful and less enjoyable. But it also affords the opportunity to focus on understanding why the screenwriter, director, and editor choose to use, alter, or omit each element in the book. Adaptations are all about economy and efficiency as they try to tell the same essential story visually and often symbolically.

In the case of "Speak", I think the movie is more powerful than the book as you feel Melinda's trauma more, even if you don't understand it as precisely. The visuals of Melinda's emotional battles are more powerful than any narrative; as are the visuals of her drawings and of the process of her growing stronger as the story progresses.

The adaptation shows Melinda's parents more positively but still portrays them as disinterested. The key scene is Christmas morning. Watch how after receiving the art supplies Melinda is pleasantly stunned that her parents were actually aware that she was drawing, then quickly disappointed when they disconnect and start their own conversation about the stereo system, which brings on the flashback of them not being there when she returned home from the party.

They wonderfully condense the process of Mr. Freeman connecting with Melinda, the key scene is when he and Ivy are discussing her art project with the turkey bones and the palm tree. Melinda is seated as they come into the frame from both sides. The camera is static as they discuss the project until just before Mr. Freeman says the word "pain". At that point they cut to a tight reaction shot of Melinda's face as the word registers and her eyes look up at him in surprise. With that short sequence they manage to communicate about 50 pages of narrative and to say all that is needed about the special relationship that Melinda and Mr. Freeman will develop. The viewer is shown not just that he is picking up her pain from the symbolism in her art work, but more importantly that she now realizes there is someone who is tuned in and interested in her welfare. This little sequence is truly inspired and a great illustration of the visual power of film.
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8/10
Not your typical teen movie
Filmcritic6246 September 2005
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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9/10
Kristen Stewart proves herself to be our next great actress
GormanBechard5 September 2005
More than anything, watch SPEAK for Kristen Stewart's raw, honest, beautiful performance. This young actress can convey more with one look than most veterans can with an entire monologue. She reminds me of a young Mary Louise Parker. And as a director, she shot up on my wish list of people I'd one day like to work with!

Aside from Stewart, the film is very well directed, tightly scripted...Steve Zahn is quite good as the art teacher with the heart of gold...

And I love the score, which owes a lot to Neutral Milk Hotel.

But really it's all about Stewart. There isn't one beat of her performance which does not ring true.

Masterful!
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8/10
Silence
jotix1005 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Finally an intelligent film about teen agers. The fascinating novel by Laurie Halse Anderson comes to the screen adapted by the director herself, Jessica Sharzer. The film merits to be seen by a wide audience because it tackles a lot of problems young people, especially young girls. Parents should see this movie because it will be an eye opener for many.

If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you should stop reading here.

Melinda Sordino is a wounded young woman. In flashbacks we see her as a happy and social teen ager, in sharp contrast with the taciturn and lonely girl we watch boarding the bus to go to school as the film begins. In flashbacks one gets to know the trauma that Melinda has gone through. All her bitterness is kept hidden inside her, as she won't talk about it, much less tell her distant parents what made her change.

Melinda is a loner by necessity. Her former best friends turned against her because she called the police when the party, that proved to be the turning point in her life, gets out of hand. As a result, Melinda is ridiculed by her peers. "Speak" deals with the complex problems young people have to face on a daily basis in school, a place that should be a place of learning instead of a place that causes most problems among the young people, as Laurie Halse Anderson points out in her novel.

The only kind soul Melinda encounters is the art teacher Mr. Freeman. He is a man that doesn't adhere to conventions and seems to be a rebel himself. With his encouragement, Melinda begins to draw and sketch pieces that are crude and devoid of life, but in them, she shows a talent to be a good artist under the right circumstances.

Melinda realizes she must come out of the state that is affecting her life by confronting Rachel with the truth, something the other girl is not ready to accept since she is too emotionally involved with the young man that caused Melinda's trauma. The result is a changed Melinda, who suddenly realizes she must confess everything to her parents and go on with her life.

The film owes a lot to Kristen Stewart, who as Melinda projects all the emotions bottled up in this young woman. Ms. Stewart appears to be a natural performer who can express all what she is feeling by her expressions. Steve Zahn is seen as the understanding teacher who sees all the potential in Melinda and is instrumental in giving her the confidence she should have. Elizabeth Perkins and D.B. Sweeney are Melinda's parents who should have seen what's wrong with her from the start, but being so involved with their lives, don't pay attention to their suffering daughter.

Jessica Sharzer shows a potential for going far as a director because she shows a sensitivity rarely seen these days in serious movies dealing with wounded souls like Melinda Sordino.
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8/10
Heartbreaking Coming-to-age Story
Claudio Carvalho15 September 2006
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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8/10
A faithful, moving adaptation of a wonderful book.
sarazarr24 January 2004
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.
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10/10
Great Movie
xxpinkpanther5 September 2005
Kristen Stewart did an excellent job on this movie. I was personally in tears in many parts of the movie, and I was crying at the end of it too. Even though most of the acting wasn't very good (Heather's lines seemed bland and disorganized), Stewart brought it all back together. Though I cannot relate to Melinda's situation, I was moved to tears by her traumatic experience.

All in all, I think this was an amazing film. It doesn't have much relation to the book, and Melinda's character isn't supposed to be dazzling at art, but the entire film was overall great. I would recommend this film to anyone (though they might want to be at least 12 or older).
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6/10
A Contribution to Society
Bill1 February 2004
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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10/10
kristen was wonderful
I saw this movie at the film festival and I fell in love with it. Kristen is my fav actor so I just had to see it. Kristen was so amazing she does things with her expressions and her face detail the actors older then her are still trying to accomplish. I can't wait to buy it so I can watch it over and over and admire her talent! I also thought that they were also many great actors in this film. I have to give credit to jessica the screen writer she did an amazing job. At first I didn't know how the movie was going to turn out because it is all basically in Melindas head. But it turned out awesome and I cannot wait for it to come out so I cam admire it at home everyday. You rock Kristen.
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9/10
Start to Finish Symbolism
psycholynch19795 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
When I saw this film I cried at the beautiful use of symbolism. The color orange as a negative color, trees as a reminder, not being able to speak, speaking through art, The Scarlet Letter and being branded as something, etc.

An excellent mention is Kristen Stewart's performance and expressions--incredible. The school year as being marked by holidays was excellent. The rape scene broken in pieces like a puzzle was perfect.

The scene at the end when the art teacher (Steve Zahn) sees Melina's finished tree projects is incredibly moving, the whole time he was hearing her, but she never had to utter a word. Trees in general were a huge symbol. Her original picture looked phallic with the trunk and circle of leaves... and she was able to speak her rape terror in her pictures.

At the end when Melinda blinds Andy she takes his vision like he took her voice. A perfect revenge in standing up for yourself and defending your body... :-) A great educational experience.
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6/10
A rating of 7.9? You gotta be kidding me!
Superunknovvn17 January 2010
I don't want to sound polemic, but I have a strong suspicion that a lot of "Twilight"-fans went wild rating this movie. Don't get me wrong. It's a solid drama about a girl that got raped and is isolated and alienated from her friends and family... but it's really not that touching. There's nothing to take away from this other than a slight feeling of pity for the main character. "Speak" doesn't rise above your average TV drama. Yes, actually this feels like an extended episode of "Joan Of Arcadia".

So, no, I didn't hate this movie, but I expected more. A LOT more. A rating of 7.9 for "Speak" is the definition of overrated.
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5/10
Interesting & Unusual tale with Remarkable Kristen Stewart
Saad Khan19 January 2011
SPEAK – CATCH IT ( B- ) The Concept of the movie is quite interesting and unusual. The whole movie proceeds very beautifully and does create the curiosity about "what exactly happened in past to Kristen Stewart's Character". The Flashbacks of the character were nicely incorporated in movie. Though, the second half the movie was little dry plus I wanted to see more of Kristen Stewart & Michael Angarano. Kirsten Stewart did a fantastic job as she does in her every Independent movie. Michael Angarano has few scenes but he Impress me a lot. Eric Lively is Gorgeous as her sister Blake Lively. Though, his role was creepy he did his best being Adorable. Speak showcases quite interesting look into a Teenagers life when some Unfortunate thing happens to them and they can't figure out how to share that with family & friends.
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9/10
Speak is about as powerful as it gets!
redeyedtreefrog7 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wow! I have never been raped but I have known those who have and my half sister was molested by her father. Virginity is something special, to be given away only once. Rape assaults a person in every way. Not often acknowledged is that men/boys can and do get sexually assaulted. This movie is for everyone! It addresses all the feelings and consequences. It addresses the misunderstandings and the subsequent fall-outs. It addresses matters from both sides of the fence. It shows that the victims are not just the ones raped but the family and friends who just don't know what's going on and why. The performances were very strong, especially by Kristen Stewart. The flashbacks were most effective. In time victims can learn to live with it but it is never truly gone, memories are there and can be triggered by a smell, touch, taste and texture. Speak is sensitive and at the same time hard-hitting. Well done indeed!!!
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8/10
Speak, shout or whisper??
Well which one is it? This movie really surprised me, as the performances from Stewart and Zahn are brilliant. The movie slowly unfolds and tells us the story of Melinda (Stewart) and a traumatic event during her summer causes her to lose all her confidence and become alienated from society.

Her fellow classmates and her "ex best friends" bully her and parents don't understand her problem because she cannot talk or even imagine the event that caused her confidence to falter.

Stewart does a great job as the frightened unconfident Melinda and the narration from her is quirky, funny but also gives an insight of how the character actually feels. Zahn also does a great job as the funky art teacher trying to inspire his students and help Melinda regain her confidence.

The direction of the film is steady and knows where it wants to head and finish and shows the harsh reality of highschool where cliques form and bullying thrives but i felt that Angarano and Zahn deserved more screen time because they were great.

Positives: Great acting, good story and really pulls you into the film Negatives: Should've had more from the secondary characters Overall: Should definitely watch this film!!
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10/10
Introduction & Reaction
cinnamonq25 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Speak tells the story of a girl starting her first year in high school. She was raped at a friend's party the previous summer. After she was raped she called the police and many people at the party were charged with underage drinking. The following year everyone is angry at her for calling the police, but no on except the guy who raped her knows why she called the police. She struggles with the anger of her peers over call to the police and her own emotional state after the rape. Speak tells it like it is when it comes to junior high and high school life without either over dramatizing or censoring what happens. Best of all it is inspiring story of recovery and how one girl finds her voice.
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10/10
Heartfelt and touching
trixie-k-886 March 2012
Speak is the movie that gave the illusion Kristen Stewart was a good actress. It is a poignant and look at a traumatized girl with elective mutism.

Melinda Sordino (Kristen Stewart) is a normal, happy fourteen-year-old about to start high school. But one night at a party something horrible happens to her, and she calls 911 to ask for help. Unable to find her voice, she hangs up and the police come to the address and bust the party. The already traumatized Melinda is labeled a "Squealer" and loses all her friends, becoming a pariah as she enters high school. In light of the painful event and the fact that everyone hates her, Melinda decides to stop talking. While her parents (Elizabeth Perkins & D.B. Sweeney) seem oblivious to her depression and withdrawal, Melinda finds solace in her caring art teacher Mr. Freeman (Steve Zahn) and outspoken classmate Dave Petrakis (Michael Angarano). Through her year long assignment of drawing trees, Melinda tries to heal from what happened and speak again, while slowly revealing to the audience what changed her life.

The story is solid, and it was a very good adaption of the novel. The book put a lot of focus on Melinda's artwork, and it is even more powerful to see it on screen. Kristen Stewart performs well in this film, probably because her flat affect and often blank expressions fit so well with the character. She does well with the few lines within the film itself, and an even better job of narrating it. Kristen narrates with an air of pained dissociation, which rings very true for anyone who has or works with people suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress. There is also a heartfelt performance by Steve Zahn, as the only adult who reaches out to Melinda and gives her exactly what she needs—a tool to process her emotions. So good it will make you overlook the Twilight series!
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8/10
Kristen's Acting Shines Here!
Syl23 April 2011
Kristen Stewart is the star here based on the novel of the same name by Laurie Halse Anderson. The story is about a teenager with a secret. She returns to another school year completely changed from a summertime experience. Steve Zahn plays her art teacher. She is suddenly the outcast and girl nobody wants to be around. She is pretty much friendless and alone. The story slowly evolves the process of her trauma in slow flashbacks. Don't worry, nothing too graphic here. The movie is aimed for a young audience and it was probably a television movie in the first place. The acting is fine with Stewart's performance in the leading role. The production value is decent. The cast includes some well-known actors and actresses but nobody really stands out. I have to say that Leslie Lyles who plays the hair lady teacher does a fine job. She's somebody to watch out for in the future.
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9/10
Sometimes there just comes a great movie...
jpschapira10 January 2011
It might be the effect of watching a lot of bad films in a row but the truth remains: sometimes there just comes a great movie. Jesssica Sharzer's "Speak" is one of those pictures that gets everything right. Like "Thirteen" or "The virgin suicides", it chooses characters, explores their environment and takes care of covering every aspect of a heartbreaking story. A heartbreaking story told, shot with respect is not the only thing these films have in common. The most important characters are girls, and the writer/directors are women. This can't be a coincidence. However, what changes is the point of view. Where "The virgin suicides" was seen through the eyes of boys and "Thirteen" was a whole new (extreme at times) experience for a high school girl, "Speak" takes a step back. It's a humbler movie; neither entirely poetic nor filled with the emotions its main character is desperate to express.

Melinda (Kristen Stewart) has done something terrible and is starting the new school year without friends. She wants her friends back, but something else happened and it's making very difficult for her to walk calmly around the hallways. There is a reconstruction of events, poetically narrated, which includes images that represent the bliss of adolescence and its biggest fears at the same time. The music, a fantastic score by Christopher Libertino, works perfectly when we witness the past and also Melinda's everyday life. When her mother (Elizabeth Perkins) wakes her up and she's screaming, she says: "Don't worry, the boogeyman is gone". Melinda knows this is not true. She walks around with ghosts and talks only when necessary. We have the privilege of listening to her thoughts, but the movie title is precise about it: Melinda can't speak up.

"Speak" gets everything right because Sharzer keeps it real. It's an important detail in films like these that things don't get out of hand. Disbelief may cause distraction, but here the camera is not flashy, the dialogue is not excessive, the key moments are not over dramatized; the economy of resources in general is astounding and seems intentional. What we know about the multiple characters is from what Melinda thinks of them in particular moments or what she directly says to them in important situations. The rest we have to figure out for ourselves (specially the relationship of Melinda with her parents, also an important detail in movies like this one). The movie never explains or anticipates too much because its story depends on what we find as we watch it. Proof of this fact is the most outspoken character, and art teacher played by Steve Zahn, who has a typical bohemian/philosophic/life lesson intended speech that for any viewer may sound like bullshit. Art plays a big part in "Speak", but it's not due to the art teacher's words… It's simply because of the direct relationship Melinda experiences with art and how it widely affects her; a relationship mainly generated by the art teacher.

Kristen Stewart is amazing. The depressive look on her face she has completely mastered finds its inception in "Speak". High school, lack of satisfaction, quirkiness that is sexy, a world of questions inside a world of unresolved problems and, in the end, some kind of kindness. You could say by now that she's typecast, but if I didn't say it before I dare anyone to find any other actress who can do it better. The close-ups of Stewart here are plenty and I find it hard to write (this means 'try to explain') how two eyes that seem lost in the middle of nowhere can transmit so much. I've already praised Stewart so. I'm a bit tired. Go and watch it for yourselves.

"Speak" is a fabulous experience, though not the happiest. You don't imagine how good it feels when a movie understands that there's nothing more left to show; that the story has been told and the screen needs to go black. I envy the way this film resolves its ending, when nothing else can be said. And don't forget the movie's called "Speak".
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10/10
Best Movie Ever
piccolo30000021 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Elizabeth Perkins and D.B. Sweeney both gave very believable performances as the Sordinos. Eric Lively was great. Kristen Stewart really shone. She really showed, in this role, that she is a great actress. I was not a fan of hers until I saw her in this movie. When you see it you will understand why. I was left in awe of the movies emotion and story. The directing, writing, acting, and editing are all top-notch. The movie is really under noticed and should be on everyone's to see list. It is a great adaptation of the book, which is also a great read. The movie is about a girl who was raped at a summer party and enters high school, while living with this she tells no one and realizes as the film goes on that it happened and she has to face it. The movie is mostly narrative, but it is actually done correct and delivered great. If you haven't seen this movie and you are thinking about seeing it you will have to buy it, because it was a labeled as a TV movie. I saw it the one weekend that it was on Lifetime, but it also showed on Showtime. High school students will really connect to the things that happen in the school and the humor is really great to teenagers. Parents will love the emotion and quality of the film. It sends a great message and is amazing in its delivery. It is a tragedy, but in the end everything is alright. This is a good film families could watch together, as long as children are, I would say over 13. If you are a parent and want to talk to your kids about things that they might face and you don't know how, watching this movie with them might help. It includes partying and drinking and a sexual assault. It is a good idea to tell your children to watch themselves and make wise decisions. The film really shows that. In conclusion, this film was the greatest movie ever. It had top-notch directing, acting, filming, editing, writing, scenery, etc. I would recommend this movie 10 fold to everyone.
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10/10
Amazing
cnmolitor5 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was so moving,I was in tears.In the end, I wished I was her in the closet beating the crap out of that boy.It really makes you look at yourself and say "Why did I let that pass?".I read the book a year or two ago and it made me think the character was a strange little goth girl who just got raped at an innocent house party gone wrong.But Melinda's character proved different.I loved her in Panic Room, and I adored her in this movie.Such an amazing story that really points out to us that no matter who you are,this could happen to you.This movie really inspired me and probably everyone who has seen it to be you and to not let just anything pass by without standing up for what you believe in.Overall an amazing movie.
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10/10
A poignant story of a teenage girl's ordeal and recovery.
alfiecycling24 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Wow! I just found out that today, January 20, 2014 is the 10th year anniversary of the release of this fine movie by Showtime. I really love this movie and have watched it numerous times.The actress Kristen Stewart shines in it.

The main character is a young teenage girl named Melinda Sordino. Sordino is Italian for " mute," and Melinda can mean, among other things,a Linden tree. Ironically, the quasi "mute" Melinda is the very person doing all the narrating throughout the movie. A poignant story of a teenage girl's ordeal and recovery. Many other character's in the movie have similar type names, for example; Heather is a friend that unfriends Melinda because Melinda is too depressed. And Ivy who unfriends her because of a misunderstanding. In fact, Melinda refers to cliques as "clans" which is from the Latin for sprout.And the author Nathaniel Hawthorne is mentioned in her English class and Hawthorne is a hedge bush of the rose family.

Hawthorne's book, The Scarlet Letter is mentioned as being full of symbolism.Which this story seems to also be full of.

I can't figure out why the author,Laurie Hals Anderson, of Speak uses so many horticultural references.But interestingly enough,right after Melinda is sexually assaulted by Andy,who is a popular teen, Melinda stays in his Jeep Wrangler after he leaves her. She looks through the windshield as she's weeping and sees a large majestic tree. Is the tree a " mute witness" to the crime?" We see the rape in a series of flashbacks by Melinda.

Later on, when she begins her freshman year at Merryweather High, her lovable bohemian art teacher, Mr. Freeman, instructs the class to pick a slip of paper out of a damaged globe that will have their year long art project on it. Melinda picks one that has the word " tree." She tries to put it back but Mr Freeman says not to because that is her " destiny, you can't change your destiny."

Also, she turns inwards and starts to cut class and hideout in a utility room at her school.And then she, like the trees and shrubs around her, starts to recover after the cold winter and she finally begins to regain her strength and courage. This may explain why the author used the tree as a symbol for Melinda.

The story line does not suffer from several plots interweaving like we see so much of but rather all the focus is on this young teen and her nearly year long recovery from her trauma.

She befriends a very nice classmate named Dave Petrakis. Perhaps more symbolism here because the name Petrakis refers to a rock or maybe even a bedrock. And he is supportive of her while never really knowing what happened to her.

The cast is finely tuned and hums like (fill in your favorite set of wheels).

Kudos to the composer Christopher Libertino for a fantastic musical score. His use of a chamber orchestra and piano near the end takes that scene to lofty heights.

Happy 10th Year Anniversary, Speak.
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9/10
A Different kind of Teenage Movie- Must watch
Kevin manav13 December 2011
Speak is a Movie about a 14 years old girl which was raped by his senior in a Party and after that incident she does not speak much. Kristein is fabulous in the movie, At this much age she performed too good. Movie shows School life, Friends, teenage life. Kristein's Eyes speak too much in spite of she don't speak much. We can understand everything what she wants to tell or how she feels. Movie tells us that children need attention, may be they don't speak about their problems but we have to make sure that kid doesn't feel any problems with life. Director knows how to show this kind of child's life, He put every effort to make Kristein's character much valuable. Screenplay is notable, it takes you to the every aspect of the character.

One should watch the movie to see Kristein's performance and kind of different story that you can feel inside your heart. A perfect kind of teenage movie You should not miss.
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10/10
Absaloutley Amazing
shellchrispower2 December 2011
This movie is now my favourite. I literally only seen it last night and i was completely blown away, it is so grown up and i am so surprised it didn't win an Oscar or anything, i should have because Kristen Stewart and well everybody was amazing in it.

I can really relate to Melaney's character minus the rape in the story line, i mean like i fell out with my best friends when i was 14 and i got really depressed and didn't talk to anybody and this movie completely reminds me of that in a good way i mean, its hard to explain but the movie is very touching and inspiring to all girls i think and i am giving the cast a round of appaulase because they were great.

Sorry for all the miss-spelling I'm not the best ha xx Thanks for reading this and please go and watch the film it is really great.
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