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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2004!
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Michael Angarano, Robert John Burke, Halle Hirsh, Elizabeth Perkins, Steve Zahn
The teenager Melinda Sordino 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, 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 and her school friend David Petrakis, and recalls her traumatic experience in the summer school, when she was raped, learning how to deal with the situation and reborn mature.
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Kristen Stewart seems to have found her niche in playing self anguished girls with some troubled inner turmoil. From “Panic Room” to “Adventureland” to the overrated “Twilight” series, Stewart has made a name for herself playing brooding teens. You can even see her in the upcoming film “The Runaways” in which she played the legendary Joan Jett.
However, that’s not to say Stewart is a bad actress. Why give up something that you’re good at? If anything, she should continue to play such roles as there are a lot of them out there that deal with teen angst and are targeted to the young demographic. “Speak” is such a film.
Melinda Sordino starts out her freshman year in high school being labeled a squealer for calling the police to a house party the previous summer. Her real reason for calling 9-1-1 was that she was raped at the party by a senior, Andy Evans. The incident was played down a little for the sake of television.
Melinda has been so traumatized by her rape that she cannot find the words to tell anybody what happened to her and becomes mute. Melinda is shunned by her friends from middle school, including her best friend Rachel Bruin. Melinda must now endure with social rejection.
This is actually a strong performance from Kristen Stewart. Granted she playing a role that’s really no stretch for her to play, however, Stewart is quite remarkable. Her struggle to find the words to express her pain is constantly evident on her anguished face.
High school is not easy for anyone, although some don’t have it as bad as others. Director Jessica Sharzar perfectly captures the alienation so many teens feel in high school, and Kristen Stewart effectively conveys that sense of torment that is brought onto her by her peers who ostracize her.
It’s a difficult film to watch at times. There are plenty of emotionally raw moments that are never sensationalized but told in a straightforward manner without coming off too sentimental. Kristen Stewart may play the same role in every one of her films; however, “Speak” is the only film where she does an exceptional job and one that stands out from all the other roles she’s played since.