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.
Robert John Burke
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Something's wrong at the Rileys. Married nearly 30 years, Doug and Lois rarely talk. She doesn't leave their Indianapolis home, and she's ordered a gravestone with their names and birth years on it. He has a long-time Thursday night mistress whom he invites to go with him to a plumbing supply conference in New Orleans. Once there, Doug calls Lois to say he's staying for a while. What's he leaving behind and what's he looking for in New Orleans? And Lois, can she break out? Written by
As a movie buff, I tend to gravitate toward the art & independent material but also due to my area's theater selections, see a fair amount of mainstream movies. Yes, I catch few good films but many times I find disappointment in both worlds. This time ended differently. I can't help but remark how impressed I was by the honest writing and acting of all three characters. Struck me as rather genuine, gritty and believable plot-wise. I also was unsure if I appreciated the decision to refrain from thoroughly fleshing-out every character. One has staggering levels in which they are left to guess about all three. Ie: What happened to Stewart's character other than her mom's accident and demise to lead her on such a disheartening path? Why not more information and insight as to chronicle the downward spiral of this marriage after the child's death? Why not dig into and explore the wife's inward turn to near-hermit? Why is the husband not only so disenchanted with home but also work, albeit this desperate & hopeless soul floundering about? Well, actually wise decision to leave this unknown; I see it's not all that critical to the success of the story. Writers today over-inform.
Another area I originally thought to be a caveat to success was ending as it did. I mean everyone likes and cheers for a happy ending. But pondering this further--really how realistic is this in life? Moreover (and I've worked with troubled and lost kids) this film plays out precisely how life goes. It's not simple to intervene and turn someone around late in the game. There is wisdom, perception and integrity in this attempt to depict a more genuine article of life and that was done. I think Stewart's work was exceptional and her remark that she's "no one's little girl" (something to that affect) captures it brilliantly. You see throughout her vulnerability, survival instinct, yet damaged nature without her acting being sentimental or "hollywood". Yes, nice little gem.
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