Directed and co-written by Catherine Hardwicke Thirteen is a gritty and disturbing movie that focuses on family relationships in today's less affluent society. More specifically the film tells the story of cutesy, all American thirteen-year-old Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) and her downward spiral into drug dependency and sexual deprivation.
We are given an early insight into the fragility of Tracy's psyche as she recites a poem she has written, for her mother, played by Holly Hunter. Despite the young girl's innocent and homely appearance this darkly disturbing poem hints at the tormented soul bubbling beneath the surface. The catalyst for Tracy's decline into what must be every parent's worst nightmare is her relationship with Evie, Latino beauty and every school lad's dream date. But there is a darker side to Evie, (played by thirteen year old actor and co-writer Nikki Reed) and gradually Tracy's self-destructive path takes its toll on all around her.
I found Thirteen to be a disturbing glimpse into the pitfalls that await modern society's adolescents. With a mostly young cast giving a solid display of acting, as well as perennial favourite Holly Hunter whose on screen prowess simply steals the show, I regard Thirteen as a bit of a modern, mini-budget classic.