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Twilight by Catherine Hardwicke

Title Twilight
Director Catherine Hardwicke
Production Company Summit Entertainment
Year 2008
Run Time 122 minutes
Rating PG-13

Teaser When Bella Swan moves to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, she does not realize how drastically her life would change. Falling in love with an immortal vampire tends to do that.

Plot Summary Bella Swan, a self-reportedly average seventeen year old, moves to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington from the sprawling city of Pheonix, Arizona to live with her dad after her mother's remarriage. Despite her insistence that there is nothing extraordinary about herself, the entire town is fascinated by her arrival, but none more so than the unusual Edward Cullen. According to her childhood friend, Jacob Black, local Indian legend names the Cullen family vampires, contractually banned from setting foot on their land. As Bella and Edward are drawn further towards each other, Edward constantly warns her that though his family are considered vegetarians – that is, they only feast on the blood of animals – the scent of her blood is more attractive than any other he has ever smelled, and she is in danger associating with him. Unfortunately, it's not just the vegetarian vampire family that find her scent alluring, and Bella finds herself in a race for her life as the Cullens try to save her from more traditional vampires.

Critical Evaluation Because of the overwhelming popularity of Twilight, it's hard to come up with a critical evaluation of it that has not already been said. This is, without a doubt, the most popular book series of the current generation, and the movies have only seen an increase in this trend. The plot line itself is simplistic but traditional – an average girl, struggling to fit in and be noticed, moves to a new town and suddenly finds herself the center of attention – and the romance hits the hearts of teenage girl fantasies. As with many movie adaptations, a number of scenes and plot elements were left out which would leave viewers who have not read the book lost and confused as to what was happening. Unfortunately, one of the main cuts made to the movie was the growth of the relationship between Bella and Edward. If they had put more time into this area the movie would have a better flow and show greater character development. The acting and cinematography also leaves something to be desired, but for Twilight fans this is not a deterrent to enjoying the movie.

About the Author Catherine Hardwicke (October 1, 1955) is an American production designer and director. A native of Texas, she moved to the West Coast in the 1980s to pursue a degree from the UCLA film school. Despite her interest in college, it was not until the 2003 award-winning movie Thirteen that she got a chance to direct a full-length film. In between that and the 2008 release of Twilight she directed two other films: Lords of Dogtown (2005) and The Nativity Story (2006).

Summit Entertainment chose her to direct Twilight despite her little previous directing experience. They did not seem to regret their decision after the movie became the biggest opening weekend in history for a female director.

Primary Genre Romance

Secondary Genre Paranormal

Curriculum Ties English

Booktalking Ideas

1) Does the romance between Bella and Edward seem like one that would be plausible in the real world?

2) Discuss the anti-feminist themes present in the movie.

Interest Age 13+

Challenge Issues None that I could see. There were no sexual situations, drugs, alcohol, or other factors apparent that could lead to protest.

Why is it included? This is the most popular book series of the current times and followers of the books have also professed to enjoy the movies.