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Holly Hunter, Deborah Kara Unger, Jeremy Sisto, Evan Rachel Wood

Synopsis: A thirteen-year-old girl's (Wood) relationship with her mother (Hunter) is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend (Reed).

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Thirteen (2003)

Thirteen Review

Review: Leaving the theater after seeing this equally compelling and disturbing film, it made me thankful that I am not a parent. Iím glad that I am not the one who is responsible for the whirling dervish that is the teenage girl in this day and age.

When one goes to see a downward spiral drug film (which is what I was expecting, but to my relief, not what I got), you have the comfort of knowing that most of it is an embellishment cooked up in a Hollywood boardroom. Thirteen however, was co-written by Nikki Reid (who also stars as Evie), so you have to assume that a lot of it is rooted in truth. And thatís scary. Very scary. Although the two main characters come from homes that are far from ideal and itís a sweeping generalization to say that all 13 year olds are climbing out their bedroom windows at night to go get high, itís ignorant to think that it never happens either.

I think the main issue here is that these days girls are growing up too fast. I suspect this is due, in part, to the fact that the media has started to target this previously untapped demographic. Take the music industry for example. In the mid-nineties, girls 5 to 10 years of age, who were never into music before, were suddenly deluged with The Spice Girls and Britney Spears. Iím obviously showing my age here, but I can tell you that when I was in junior high, none of my female classmates dressed like Christina Aguilera. Thatís all Iíll say on the matter for this is a movie review, not a social commentary.

I would encourage any mother to see Thirteen, just for the fact that I believe there are a surprising number who donít have the slightest idea what their daughters are doing when their backs are turned. There were several older women in the audience at the show I attended and heard many outcries of awe, surprise and disgust during it. The following instance of naivetť supports my point. Early on, Tracy (the protagonist played by Evan Rachel Wood) lights up a cigarette to which one of the ladies behind me says, ĎSheís smoking!?í I found that puzzling. A few scenes before, Tracy and Evie were breathing fumes from aerosol cans and punching each other in the face because they were numb to the pain. Thatís enough to show me that the smoking habit is the least of this girlís problems.

Thirteen also boasts a great adult cast including Holly Hunter, Deborah Kara Unger and Jeremy Sisto who provide the shaky role models for the uncontrollable adolescents. The well crafted performances by Reid and especially Wood are what really stay with you, though. Some of the stuff that came out of these girlsí mouths just made me wince. But, at the same time, it shamefully reminded me of lipping off cruel comments to my parents when I was that age, for no other reason than I was in a sour mood.

If this film accomplishes anything, itíll be to encourage parents to talk to their kids to make sure that their lives never become as intense as the ones contained within Thirteen. Again, I remain thankful.

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Copyright© Written By: Tom Servo
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DVD Information:

Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary
One Commentary Track Featuring: Director/Co-Writer
Commentary by Catherine Hardewicke, Co-Writer/Actress
Commentary by Nikki Reed, Actor Commentary by Evan Rachel Wood and Brady Corbet
Making Of Featurette
Theatrical Trailer
2 Easter Eggs
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Audio: ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

The DVD Review:
Easter Egg - Deleted Scene

Select Special Features. Move the highlight onto 'Making Of Featurette' and click right on your directional key to highlight the number '13.' Press 'enter' and you will get to see a deleted scene of improvisation from the intervention.

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