When I first picked up Thirteen, my 14 year-old, very bored self had followed the mother on an ‘exciting’ food shopping trip and I'd somehow ended up in the not-so expansive film aisle of the Tesco superstore. After browsing for a few minutes, not looking for anything in particular, my hands found their way onto a copy of Thirteen. I'd never heard of the film before and this was way before Evan Rachel Wood got with Marilyn Manson (who I was and still am a massive fan of). To me, this was just two girls, sticking their metal-clad tongues out. "Sod it", I thought.
Tracy Freeland (Evan Rachel Wood) is a 13 year-old girl, into poetry and nice things who, after starting middle school, craves to be part of the popular crowd. After being mocked by Evie Zamara (Nikki Reed) on her first day, Tracy decides that she needs to completely change the way she is in order to be accepted into the popular crowd and gain Evie's respect. After befriending Evie through the theft of a woman's purse, the story takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride as Tracy gets dragged further and further down into the sordid world of sex, drugs and abuse.
The story was co-written by Catherine Hardwicke and Nikki Reed. Hardwicke, who also directed Thirteen, you may recognise as the director of Twilight, but don't let that colour your opinion. Nikki Reed, who hasn't been in that much else except Twilight and... Twilight, Twilight and um, more Twilight, based the story of Thirteen partially on her own experiences of being a troubled teen and has created a hard-hitting narrative that is acted out beautifully by herself and Rachel-Wood
One other thing worth mentioning is the soundtrack to this film, it's pretty decent to be honest and I would be lying if I said quite a few of the songs are not on my iPod. Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), has used artists like Kinnie Star, Liz Phair and Carmen Rizzo to really reflect the feel of the film, being new and exciting at the beginning and then towards the end, a lot more of a numbing experience.
If you haven't had a chance to watch Thirteen, then I suggest picking it up from Amazon. It's a good buy and even if it does break my IMDB 7/10 rule, some rules are meant to be broken.