(out of 5)
Evan Rachel Wood plays a thirteen year-old who insinuates herself into the life of a popular girl (Nikki Reed) and the two become best friends. Wood goes from being a regular nice girl to a sexually active party animal with a drinking and drug habit, and all before she even hits high school. Holly Hunter (who also co-produced) is excellent as Wood’s mother, a woman who will only tolerate so much before she realizes that her girl is actually in a lot of trouble. The film was co-written by Reed, who is in reality thirteen years old and knows what she’s talking about, but this level of realism doesn’t ever let us escape the more exploitative elements of the story (what’s with all the french kissing?) Much of the time it is unpleasant because it is a convincingly realistic film, other times it is pretentiously going out of its way to impress us with shocking situations. Still, the performances make it worth watching if nothing else, and it is definitely not boring.
Fox Searchlight Pictures, Michael London Productions, Working Title Films, Antidote Films, Sound for Film
Screenplay by Catherine Hardwicke,
Production Design by Carol Strober
Costume Design by Cindy Evans
Film Editing by Nancy Richardson