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Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Written by Catherine Hardwicke and Nikki Reed
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Starring Holly Hunter, Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed
Review by Mil Peliculas

I just did something I normally don't do. I looked at some reviews on IMDB before I sat down to review this one. Who knew there were so many masters of filmmaking reading and posting reviews there? I'm a snob, but I don't think I ever go off on movies unless it's particularly egregious, and the filmmakers know it's egregious. So I must come to the defense of Thirteen. Is it as shocking or depressing as Kids? No. But it is of that ilk.

Thirteen is the frantically paced story of a young girl who's recently become a teenager and her subsequent befriending of the "popular" girl at school, played by Nikki Reed, the co-writer of the picture. The union results in a downward spiral into drugs, drink, sex, self-mutilation, shoplifting, eating disorders...the kitchen sink. Some of the geniuses on IMDB were criticizing the film for holding back, I think they mean not showing the sex scenes or something. Well, folks, due to recent laws, you cannot show thirteen year old girls (even if the actresses portraying them are over 18) engaging in sex, nor could you show them naked, because it is considered "child pornography." I too found it to be excruciating that I was not going to see these girls get nekked, especially Nikki Reed, who's hotter than the Space Shuttle Columbia's last re-entry, but I knew it could not be.

The shoddy camerawork talked about in other reviews is obviously deliberate and meant to give us a documentary feel, which it does, so what the big deal is I don't know. The best thing to come from the film is Evan Rachel Wood's performance, which kept me glued to my seat. Holly Hunter is great as always as the clueless mother--another criticism from the amateur Eberts on IMDB, but aren't all parents clueless at first when their kid decides to take a dive into the deep-end? She figures it out soon enough.

Thirteen may not change your life, but it will provide a nice glimpse into the mind of a thirteen year old girl. My niece is going to be thirteen soon, I hope my sister is prepared for the possible mental nuclear war that could be in store. Speaking of that, the film does drive home the fact that girls are much more volatile and evil than boys at that age--perhaps at any age. If the film were about boys, there'd probably be some fisticuffs and everyone would go play some football afterwards, but with girls, Jesus, it's like Glengarry Glen Ross with tube-tops. I was drained by the end. Young girls do not know the power that they have over men, countries used to go to war over young, beautiful girls, so it's no surprise that that power can be used for all sorts of mischief and mayhem.

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