More social realist and Dogme-like than most American independent films, THIRTEEN is an honest and hard-hitting story about youth rebellion, generation gap and substance abuse. 13-year-old Tracy has suddenly had enough of life as a docile and sweet little girl, and becomes obsessed with a group of female classmates acting far more grown-up than their age. These girls are on a slippery slope of drug abuse and petty crime. Due to audacity and luck, Tracy succeeds in becoming best friends with the worst of the lot, thoroughly dishonest and reckless Evie (played by 14 year old co-screenwriter Nikki Reed).
Tracy changes completely, to her mother’s despair. However, the film’s grown-ups have their own problems, with alcohol or drugs. This undermines their authority over the children as well as their conviction that they can actually help their children straighten up. THIRTEEN is the worst nightmare of all parents, but never speculative, instead compelling, realistic and honest.
Cathrine Hardwicke has worked as a successful production designer for 15 years, on films such as LAUREL CANYON (2002), VANILLA SKY (2000) and THREE KINGS (1999). Hardwick also worked on several projects with independent director Richard Linklater, whom in many ways can be seen as her mentor. THIRTEEN is Cathrine Hardwicke's directorial and scriptwriting debut.