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Speak (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 January 2004 (USA)
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.

Director:

Jessica Sharzer

Writers:

Laurie Halse Anderson (novel), Jessica Sharzer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristen Stewart ... Melinda Sordino
Elizabeth Perkins ... Joyce Sordino
Dick Hagerman Dick Hagerman ... School Bus Driver
Allison Siko ... Heather
Remy Brommer Remy Brommer ... Yearbook Photographer (as A. Remy Brommer)
Robert John Burke ... Mr. Neck
Grace Ameter Grace Ameter ... Emily
Tyanna Rolley Tyanna Rolley ... Nicole
Leslie Lyles Leslie Lyles ... Hairwoman
Hallee Hirsh ... Rachel
Michael Angarano ... Dave Petrakis
Kimberly Kish Kimberly Kish ... Ms. Keen
Megan Pillar Megan Pillar ... Ivy
Steve Zahn ... Mr. Freeman
D.B. Sweeney ... Jack Sordino
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth Will Change Everything.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a teen rape | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beszélj! See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Speak Film Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2016, Mara Wilson revealed she had wanted the role of Melinda Sordino, which was played by Kristen Stewart. See more »

Goofs

The movie came out in 2004, but the book it is based on came out in 1999. So the turn of the century for the book would be the 1900s. For her extra credit assignment, Melinda is told to write an essay on a cultural influence at the turn of the century. Yet the movie takes place at the turn of the 21st century, around 2003. It should have specified "turn of the last [20th] century." She decides to write about the suffragists of the 1910s. See more »

Quotes

David Petrakis: The suffragettes fought for their right to speak. They were attacked, arrested and thrown in jail for daring to do what they wanted to do. Like them, Melinda is willing to stand up for what she believes. That no one should be forced to give speeches.
Mr. Neck: What is this?
David Petrakis: Melinda has to deliver her report to the class as part of the assignment. She made copies everyone can read.
Mr. Neck: Oh, no you don't. When I say oral, I mean oral.
[to Dave]
Mr. Neck: Now you sit down!
[to Melinda]
Mr. Neck: And you read that report.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Awkward.: Pilot (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Requiem, Op. 48
Written by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Lisa Beckley, Nicholas Gedge, Colm Carey and the Schola Cantorum of Oxford conducted by Jeremy Summerty
Courtesy of Naxos by arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Contribution to Society
1 February 2004 | by baho2See all my reviews

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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