the fresh films reviews

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Speak (2004)

Directed by:
Jessica Sharzer

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Drama

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Speak

RUNNING TIME
92 minutes

Produced by:
Fred Berner
Matthew Myers
Annie Young Frisbie
Jessica Sharzer

Written by (based on the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson):
Jessica Sharzer
Annie Young Frisbie


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Melinda Sordino Kristen Stewart
David Petrakis Michael Angarano
Mr. Neck Robert John Burke
Rachel Bruin Hallee Hirsh -
Andy Evans Eric Lively
Joyce Sordino Elizabeth Perkins

Jack Sordino

D. B. Sweeney
Mr. Freeman Steve Zahn

 

Review

Kristen Stewart gives a remarkably mature and forceful performance in her first leading role as a high school junior coping with the aftermath of being raped by a senior. The film has a familiar early 2000s TV style and depicts what will today appear as dated group dynamics and mob culture, making it a fascinating study in retrospect. But there's also an unquestionable timelessness to the lead character's experiences and her processing of them; you feel her anguish and depression but also her sardonic distance to it all. The balance with which the trauma is portrayed by director Jessica Sharzer is no small feat. And so you can forgive her for resorting to a few cliched depictions of teachers and classroom dynamics. With Steve Zahn as an inspirational art teacher and Elizabeth Perkins and D. B. Sweeney in amusing turns as Stewart's inattentive but well-meaning parents.

Copyright 22.08.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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