Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


On the road between prepubescent and teenager lie the hottest coals of desire for acknowledgement, acceptance, and independence, as well as the sharpest barbs of cunning and manipulation. Thirteen is a splendidly vibrant and authentic portrait of what this road looks like for youths in the new millennium.

At the edge of adolescence, Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) is a promising student and the loving apple of her mother's eye. But that was before she fell under the spell of Evie (Nikki Reed), the most popular and beautiful girl in school. Tracy aches to become Evie's friend but fails the secret code of acceptance. Wrong socks, wrong look. As Tracy transforms to reach for a new life, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother, teachers, and old friends. Each decision is radical, each choice is major, each crisis is huge, and it all makes Tracy squeal with horror and excitement. But that's what it's like to be 13!

Thirteen is an uncommonly brilliant effort hatched from a pitch-perfect script cowritten by director Catherine Hardwicke and 13-year-old co-star Nikki Reed. Inspired production design and exceptional performances are the polish on this emotionally penetrating effort, which heralds Hardwicke as an incredibly exciting new filmmaker.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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