(Review originally written at 15 October 2005)

The movie is perfectly intense and because of that works also perfectly powerful.

Because of the mainly only hand-held camera-work, the movie is given a realistic, perhaps almost documentary observing like, feeling. Other reasons for the movie its realistic feeling is the writing and the acting performances. You can tell by looking at this movie that it was almost entirely written by a teenager. An adult would had put in some obvious, dramatic and moralistic cliché's, into the movie and would had hold back on some certain issues. The movie is loosely based on true events in actress/co-writer Nikki Reed's life. The movie has a good quick, 'intense' pace thanks to the good editing by Nancy Richardson. The actors are all believable in their roles. Best acting performances are given by the young actress Evan Rachel Wood and the always excellent Holly Hunter, who also was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for her role in this movie. All of the actors act in a realistic manner which is also thanks to the sharp dialog.

The realism is really the most powerful element of the movie and provides a good view in the life of an at first perfectly normal early teenager, who becomes more and more rebellious and begins to do all the things that God and her mother forbade. The way the story is brought makes it obvious that this could happen to every parent, no matter how well you raised your children. It makes "Thirteen" an important movie about how hard and difficult the life for a teenager at school during puberty can be at times and how easily he or she can be influenced by others and events in his or her environment. It's not easy being a teenager or a parent of it. The movie shows the hard reality of both sides; parent and teenager.

An intense and powerful, professionally made movie that never goes over-the-top and always remains believable.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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