Dawn Cottrell (Peterson) seems like a typical sixteen-year-old girl, but she has a very dangerous secret. Unable to express her true feelings, whenever Dawn is upset she grabs a knife and cuts herself.
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.
Casey Powell is a young teenage girl who is secretly suffering from anorexia nervosa, a mental and physical illness of deliberately starving herself or self-induced vomiting, because of her... See full summary »
Eva Marie Saint,
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Perhaps the portrayal is a little cliched in this movie, and I would agree that the writing is somewhat strained, but I did find it a compelling story of anorexia. I am not a dancer. I do not know what life is like in the world of professional ballet. I am, however, a recovering anorexic. Is it possible to become an obsessed anorexic, desperate to use any and all measures to lose weight and lie to everyone about it in the span of only a few months? Absolutely. I know because it happened to me. I starved myself down to 69 pounds. I kept obsessive journals of every calorie that passed my lips, exercised to the point of exhaustion, and lied to everyone I knew about what was going on. In trying to maintain control of my life, I lost control. That was accurately conveyed in the story, and it brought back a flood of twenty-year-old, painful memories of what I went through. Maybe this movie is an inaccurate portrayal of dancers. But it hits the mark with anorexics. I do wish the writing had had more depth, perhaps exploring Alyssa's psyche a bit more.
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