The young adolescent Melinda Sordino arrives at high school feeling confused, depressed and alone. Her school peers call her squealer, because she alerted the police during a summer party after she was sexually assaulted by Andy Evans. She refuses to tell anyone the events that took place. Her depression and distance from people is made worse by the increasingly large gap between her and her parents. She finds great support with her art teacher Mr. Freeman and her school friend David Petrakis. Her feelings threaten to engulf her but Melinda learns to grow from her experiences instead of repressing the past emotions that have scarred her for the rest of her life.
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I came upon this movie while viewing the library dvd's on the shelf. I saw "Speak" and thought Why Not? I had seen Kristen Stewart in a few good movies including Twilight and The Messengers, so this might be half decent. I'm so very glad that I grabbed it. This movie is a surprisable and unexpected gem. Kristen Stewart is utterly amazing and her emotions are so open throughout this film if only through her facial expressions, eyes, or even her tone of voice. She aces her role as Melinda who had an horrific event at the prior years' end and didn't know how to tell anyone about it. So she kept it hidden inside of her as she began her Freshmen year of high school. Her parents, her "ex" best friends, the other students, could not understand her and many disliked her for calling the police during the prior years' event. We find out what happened to Melinda as the movie goes along and why she is the way she is all the while enthralling the viewer to constantly wonder why and how can Melinda save herself and move on. This movie is very powerful and touching from the very first scene to the ending credits. If you like drama, human emotion, and justice, you will simply love this movie and want to watch it over and over again. And for those Kristen Stewart fans out there, this movie is probably her best. Don't miss out on this remarkable gem which includes wonderful performances from its co-stars, especially Steve Zahn, Elizabeth Perkins, and D.B. Sweeney. Two Very Enthusiastic Thumbs Up!!
This movie is a must see for tweens and teens, especially girls. This situation happens to a lot of girls who remain fearful to "Speak". Parents, discuss it with your children.
I think I would have enjoyed this film more if it had not tried to dealwith such heavy subject matter. Because the theme was so sensitive andintense, points of mediocre craftsmanship stuck out. Essentiallyeveryone in the film is a stereotype--the art teacher, the Englishteacher, the History Teacher, Melinda's friends, Melinda's parents, theprincipal, and the counselor.Kristen Stewart was the best thing about this movie. She had a prettygood command of her facial expressions and mannerisms. It would havebeen nice if she had some decent lines. The other actors were fairlyweak. The score was essentially a non-entity.Like I said, it's an OK film, but it's trying to be more than it is.
How to limit this response to 1,000 words...I'll do my best. I wentinto this with lowered expectations. It is a known fact that the bookis always better than the movie. FOR ONCE, a movie did the bookjustice. I am a huge fan of Speak the book, and the movie was exactlywhat I pictured in my mind as I read the book. Kristen Stewart wasamazing as Melinda. I'm not easily moved when I watch movies. However,Speak moved me to tears. I feel like I know Melinda. Kristen has agreat future ahead of her as an actor. All I can think about is seeingit again. I can't think of enough good things to say about this film.Powerful. Devastating. Tragic. Hopefull. See it.
I'm a young adult librarian, and in nearly 10 years of reading teen literature professionally, Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak" is in a very select handful of young adult novels that I think manage to be both completely contemporary and profoundly impactful at the same time. Anderson's beautful, sensitive and disturbing book needed an equally sensitive film treatment, and I think they nailed it with this Showtime production that garnered great reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.Casting the lead, Melinda Sorvino, was crucial to successfully filming a novel that is largely interior. Melinda is selectively mute after a trauma, and grows progressively more so throughout the story, so the young actress needed to convey Melinda's interior battle largely though her eyes and face. Kristen Stewart has an essential quality for a compelling actor: her eyes are the mirrors of the the soul of her character. Even though she tends to rely on a stock range of facial expressions, her eyes have great depth that draws the camera in. It remains to be seen whether Ms. Stewart, currently enjoying international stardom as Bella Swan in "Twilight" and the forthcoming "New Moon" will be able to mature from teen roles into a fully-rounded adult actress, but despite her youth, she's got the eyes of an old soul. "Speak" was filmed 5 years ago, when Stewart was only 13; as such her command of the screen was astounding given her relative inexperience. In fact, she seems no more immature, in either looks or acting style than she presents as Bella. Whether that means she has developed all the farther she is going to go as an actor than she shows as a precocious 13-year-old is hard to say. I thought her performance as Bella was defined by a marked lack of expression, but this same rather sullen, detached demeanor is perfect for Melinda.At the start of the story, Melinda is going to school for the first day of ninth grade. This makes Melinda and Stewart the same exact age, which in itself is unusual in a teen movie, where teens are often portrayed by actors in their 20s. Due to an incident that occurred over summer vacation, Melinda is being shunned by not only her former BFFs, but half the large school. Unlike the novel, the film does not keep what actually happened veiled until the end, but employs frequent flashbacks to the incident as Melinda struggles through a very rocky freshman year. Since the secret is out of the bag minutes into the film, I don't think I'm spoiling anything to reveal that Melinda was sexually assaulted by an upperclassman at a house party and called 911. Partygoers don't know what happened to her--only that she called the cops and got everyone busted. So Melinda, being persona non grata at school, and unable to unburden herself of the truth, retreats further and further into herself. The only solace she finds is in art class, where an unconventional teacher (Steve Zahn) both encourages and allows Mel to express herself through art. The relationship Melinda has with Mr. Freeman, and with the art room itself is a centerpiece of the book, and it is not exploited fully onscreen, where art just seems to be one of many things going on in Melinda's life, and not her sole lifeline. She also is provided with some friends, some dialogue and a set of caring parents (Elizabeth Perkins & D.B. Sweeney), rendering her far less of a basket case than the character in the book. In all other respects, Stewart captures the agonizing self-consciousness of adolescence in a pitch-perfect performance. As someone who's old enough to be her mom, I can't help wondering WHY Melinda can't bring herself to tell anyone what happened to her for nearly a year; this novel and film, if they do nothing else, present a cautionary tale for young girls in how NOT to behave in the aftermath of a sexual assault. I highly recommend that teen girls, as well as their parents, read and watch "Speak" together, and have a frank discussion about how Melinda could have handled her situation better. This will no doubt be as painful to a typical teenage girl as dental work without novacaine, but she will be grateful for it later, if a time comes when it matters.
This review is from: Speak (DVD) I work with High School kids that HATE to read. I purchased this DVD as a supplement to the novel. When I offer both the book and DVD to my students, it is a motivator to them and they will read. I also always use closed captioning (or subtitles) when viewing any video materials. The story is beautifully written with not too much unnecessary language. It's accessible to most and the story is an important one.Would buy it again.C. Romey
This review is from: Speak (DVD) I hadn't seen the movie, but I am a teacher. I wanted to get it to go along with reading the book.
I'll start off by saying that I haven't read the book, so I don't know how they compare. It doesn't really matter, I guess, since an adaptation should be able to stand on its own."Speak" is a good movie, not great. The overall acting is good, but I especially liked Michael Angarano, Hallee Hirsh, and Steve Zahn. There are just certain actors who stand out, and for me they were it. One of the most obvious flaws is the sterotypical characterizations. There is a lack of originality in some of them, and you could find similar characters in other books and movies without much effort. As a story, it runs fairly predictably. Nothing is out of the ordinary, and whether or not you know that Melinda was raped beforehand, it's obvious. That probably wasn't meant to be a mystery, though. I also found the ending to be a bit set-up. I get it, though. The point was for Melinda to have her justice and to have it done in a satisfying way, but it wasn't realistic. Kristen Stewart is okay in this. I know a lot of people think she was amazing in this role, and while she's certainly not bad, I wouldn't call it great. If you've seen any of her other movies or seen her interviews, you can easily tell that even back when this was made she was using her usual tics and mannerisms. I don't want anyone to think I'm doing an anti-Kristen Stewart rant, because I'm not, I'm just pointing out that she's playing herself to a degree. I thought she was much better when she wasn't talking.All in all, "Speak" is okay, but I wouldn't watch it again.
Great acting by Kristen Stewart & at such a young age. Shes the next best thing I totally see this girl getting an Oscar in the near future. She makes you want to get into the the TV and give her a hug. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves to see and feel human emotions at its peak.
No book to film comparison here, as I have not read the book yet.Kristen Stewart does a fine job here as the brooding, picked-on high school girl Melinda, who tries to get through life without acknowledging the terrible attack on her that occurred in the previous year. She finds out that being silent about something traumatic does not make it go away, but it does make everything much worse. There are many times when you wish you could yell at her and tell her to speak up. This is an important story for teens and parents to view together or for teachers to show to their classes. Silence can be a dangerous and destructive thing.
This review is from: Speak (DVD) I stumbled on this movie by accident. I was searching for a movie to watch one evening and found this one. Normally I would not have watched this since I am a grandmother to six, with the oldest being almost 20. Kristen Stewart was in the movie, so I was curious. I became very involved in the life of the young girl in the movie. She was dealing not only with a brutal rape, but lost friendships and not telling her parents of her tradegy. The parents are at a loss as to why she has become so "distant, rebellious, a loner etc,". The ending was the way it should be. I enjoyed the movie and bought it to share with my three granddaughters. The picture and sound was very good and the price was very good. It arrived in a timely manner and was well packaged.
This movie has been in my list of movies i wanted to watch and ifinally got the chance and i must say i am extremely happy.This movie tells a strong story and i think it was told in a very goodway for it keeps your emotions flowing while following Kristen Stewert'character and even though she barley says anything it keeps youeffected the whole movie by what happened to her.As a Showtime independent film it isn't very known which in my opinionis a shame.Jessica Sharzer while not a very experienced director did a marvelousjob telling such a delicate story.Kristen Stewert(Panic Room, Twilight) truly showed how good she is andi must say at such a young age predicts a bright future, She alongsideAbigail Breslin(Little Miss Sunshine, My Sister's Keeper) and DakotaFanning(Man On Fire, War of the Worlds) are heading in a good directionand show great talent since the beginning. The rest of the cast didextremely well such as Elizabeth Perkins(Weeds) and Steve Zahn(Sahara,A Perfect Getaway).A movie to watch for sure.
This excellent movie is based on an amazing book. I recommend both. Kristen Stewart does really well in this movie; its right up her alley.
I just returned from the Sundance Film Festival, where I was lucky enough toattend the premiere screening of "Speak" (after waiting 2 hours in line ...). It was worth the wait. I fear this film will be pigeonholed as just a"teen movie," which would be a shame because it touches on themes thatresonate with adults as well. I'll admit I cried during the film, but thenso did many of the people around me. I haven't heard whether it gotdistribution yet or not -- I can't imagine that it wouldn't. I understandit will air on Showtime eventually, as they helped in the production. Wishit could always be shown with the short that preceded it at Sundance, "TheVest," which was delightful.
This movie was amazing.Kirsten Stewart is an amazing and extraordinary actress.At first i was sure if i was going to watch this film but once istarted to watch it i could not turn away from it.Kirsten Stewart's character was interesting and complex and made mewant to watch it again.Her character really spoke to me because when i caught it on lifetime iwas the same age as Kirsten's character Miranda.i loved this movie.It really spoke to people my age who have been through that kind ofhorrible event in their lives
Kristen Stewart as Melinda Sordino, 14 starts her freshman year of high school under a cloud. Ostracized by her peers for calling the police during a summer party she attended, Melinda is forced to fend for herself to a large extent. Melinda's parents don't really communicate with her. Melinda's behavior hollers trauma - the extended silence and change in eating patterns as well as her poor grades are all red flags. One can cheer Melinda's logical refusal to answer rhetorical questions. It does make one wonder what the point of rhetorical questions are since the one asking them usually doesn't want an answer. It irked me that Melinda's parents would ask such foolish questions which in turn precluded any chance at discourse. Melinda has also become quasi-mute. Only one girl attempts to befriend her. Heather, a transfer student is the only person who attempts to befriend Melinda. It turns out Heather has an agenda - she wants to be accepted by a clique (called a "clan" in this film) called the Marthas (after Martha Stewart) who are held in high regard by teachers and administrators alike. In the 2004 film, they are described as "very Connecticut, very preppy." The Marthas are known for doing home ec projects for the community and creating party motifs for school functions. Heather feels Melinda's artistic skills will give her a leg up with the Martha crowd. There are notes of humor that offset the grim and serious subjects covered in this book. The school board didn't want to spend money on changing the school uniform colors when the issue of choosing a new mascot came up. The high school principal is humorously named Principal Principal. Melinda's art teacher, played to perfection by Steve Zahn is the aptly named Mr. Freeman. He encourages his students to free themselves of inhibitions through art. He assigns each student an object to create in some artistic medium. Melinda's assignment is a tree. (Landscaping and trees also crop up in "Twisted" and lanscaping plays a significant role in both of these books). Mr. Freeman is a delightful character and is also a sympathetic ear for his students. He has a brilliant way of lashing out at injustice - he inserts rude caricatures of school board members who have made budget cuts into the school art program. A kind classmate named David Petrakis also stands up for Melinda. He even stages a brilliant coup d'Ã©tat in their government class. He brilliantly rebuts the dictatorial tone their government teacher takes when he closes down a debate simply because his students are offering differing viewpoints. David also encourages Melinda to speak up and provides her with the tools to do so. In time, Melinda discovers her true voice. The writing style of giving readers a glimpse into Melinda's mind and guiding readers with her thoughts make for very effective story telling. Readers can feel Melinda's rage at those who have harmed her. Over time, her character builds in strength and momentum. I just loved it when Melinda, drawing upon her newly discovered resouces tells Heather that she refuses to let her use her to get in with the Marthas. After Heather drops her as a friend, she has the temerity to come to Melinda when she needs something. Melinda wisely turns down Heather's offer to redecorate her room and help her with a school project the Marthas have taken on. After Heather had rebuffed her once in the book, readers will want to cheer Melinda's refusal to accept crumbs from a fair weather friend. Readers are not informed as to what trauma caused Melinda's quasi-mutism. The incidents and reasons for that are unfurled as the story rolls along. Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" underscores this book. Laurie Halse Anderson is a genius, plain and simple. This is a very serious and important book that I would highly recommend to families, educators and medical professionals. This is a book that is screaming for attention for book discussion groups. This is a book everyone needs as the serious issues it covers are relevant and timely. This is a book for everyone. I also highly recommend "Twisted" for the same reasons.
This review is from: Speak (DVD) This is a must movie for all girls and boys going from middle school to high school. It gives them an understanding of what can happen in the real world.
This review is from: Speak (DVD) This is an ok movie they left a lot of stuff out that was in the book a lot GOOD stuff but it is steel its a good movie
Speak is by far one of my favorite books. My favorite books happen tohave a way of becoming bad movies, and this is one of them. This moviewas full of errors, Melinda doesn't live in the Midwest, Heather is amodel, so she couldn't be that fat, and Melinda even said herself, shewas average weight, not anorexic looking like she was in the movie. Theactors didn't fit the roles at all, and while the girl who playedMelinda had the sad look down, she didn't have the voice. She justwasn't Melinda. Ivy didn't run with the Goths and the Marthas, she ranwith the thespians and the artists! (or something to that degree,Ican't remember exactly) David Petrakis was supposed to be tall andgangly, not stocky. Andy Evans...I'm sure everyone imagined him blonde.And Rachelle, well, she did not fit the description at all. In conclusion, this movie was terrible. Awful. Just plain bad. Speakfans, don't go see it unless you want to be outraged.
WOW! Kristen Stewart is a very talented actress. I admire the charactershe portrays. I learned a lot of things from "SPEAK" but the mostamazing thing i learned was: Like Dave said, 'You can't speak up foryour rights and be silent. I thought what you did was cool but youcan't make a difference unless you speak up.' -Once i heard this, i wasabsolutely blown away by the meaning of these words. When you knowthings that can improve something you need to speak up. You just can'tthink things will change without anyone hearing you. You may not knowthe outcome of your speech but you need to take a chance.Anyway, Kristen Stewart completely showed the talents within her andher meaning. Im look forward to see her performance on "TWILIGHT".