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- Commentary with Director Jessica Sharzer and Author Laurie Halse Anderson
- Book Study Guide from Penguin Books
- Penguin Books Fun Facts and Book Excerpt
- Behind the Scenes
- Widescreen Enhanced for 16:9 Television
Top Customer Reviews
When high school begins that fall, Melinda selectively chooses to remain a mute while enduring the hateful behaviors of her former friends (including Rachel, who is now dating the guy that raped Melinda). Yet, slowly, through finding herself through an art class with and an art teacher (Steve Zahn) that truly inspire her, Melinda manages to recover and find a new sense of self and confidence and even resolution to the events that have plagued her.
"Speak" has all the makings of a typical after school special that is rife with pretentiousness and pat resolutions.Read more ›
Cinematographer Andrij Parekh gets maximum effect from the camera as the film is filled with tight shots of Stewart's face and eyes. Director Jesseca Sharzer gets an incredible non-verbal performance from Stewart which is nicely offset by the voice-over narration. Like the narration in "The Opposite of Sex" and "Girl" this helps relieve the intensity and introduces some wry humor into the story. I particularly liked Stewart's offhand voice-over on her way to the principal's office: "I forgot that the suffragettes were hauled off to jail, duh".
Melinda's flat and distanced narration is often contradicted by the crushing emotional trauma she is experiencing on the screen, this dichotomy is a very effective way to illustrate her inner strength and multi-dimensionality.
Parekh complements his close work with interesting short focal transitions and some good exterior shots. One especially nice one is when Stewart is walking in the distance and the focus slowly changes to highlight a bee and a flower in the foreground.
Like "Welcome to the Dollhouse", the adult roles are a bit extreme but the student roles are very convincing.Read more ›
Melinda Sordino (Stewart) is a high school freshman, who was once a bright, happy student. One night a terrible event occurs that instantly changes that and simultaneously ostracizes her from her peers. School, is now a torment for her as she has no one to relate to or confide in (her parents (Sweeney & Elizabeth Perkins) are caring but unaware of her issue and oblivious to her). She regresses and rarely speaks to anyone, even to the few who try to reach out to her. One person does manage to break through, her new art teacher, Mr. Freeman (Zahn), who gets Melinda to slowly express her emotions through her art projects. She tries to regain the confidence to open back up and ultimately break free of the shell she has created for herself.
This movie is definitely not a feel-good flick, but the screenplay (adapted from the same-titled book) affords some light moments (usually from Melinda's observations through her inner monologue and rare interactions in the classroom). Stewart is truly the revelation here as she perfectly nails the depressed and isolated role of Melinda and can deftly handle the couple of pretty harrowing incidents that occur. She is definitely one to watch for in the future. Zahn, usually cast for comedic parts, pulls off his best performance. The scene towards the end of the movie between Mr. Freeman and Melinda in her "safe place", was enough to bring me to tears, even though there were barely any words spoken. Just perfect.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Say what you will about Kristen Stewart... I really love her in this movie. The casting is perfect, the editing and production quality fit the story line. Read morePublished 26 days ago by BuyAllTheThings
Such a powerful, well done movie based on an equally powerful book. I watched it with my teen-age daughter and would highly recommend. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JodiM
Interesting movie - typical role for Stewart to play in. Like the movie!Published 3 months ago by Chelles06
This had a lot of scratches on it. It kept stopping throughout the movie. But I ended up getting through this very interesting moviePublished 4 months ago by crissy