Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Raise Your Voice
Raise Your Voice is an American feature film that was released in 2004. It was directed by Sean McNamara , and stars actress Hilary Duff. Oliver James , David Keith, and Dana Davis co-star. The movie tells the story of a young woman from a small town who spends the summer in a performing arts school in Los Angeles against her father's will.
Tagline: Don't hold back. Don't give up.
About the movie
Terri Fletcher is a typical sweet-hearted, small town girl with big time dreams. Blessed with a naturally joyful singing voice, Terri has her sights set on attending the Bristol-Hillman Conservatory in Los Angeles - the most celebrated summer music program in the country. Although she has plenty of raw talent, her lofty aspirations are quickly dashed by her overbearing father, Simon.
When Terri expresses her desire to attend a summer music program, it is met with strong opposition from her uncompromising father, Simon. The owner of a local family diner where Terri works as a waitress, Simon is a no-nonsense father whose stringent rules threaten to keep Terri from leaving her small town.
While Simon is insensitive to Terri's pleas, she finds a sympathetic ear in her mother Frances. She is the peacemaker left with the difficult task of holding her family together in the aftermath of a tragic loss.
A despondent Terri resigns herself to staying home for the summer when her mother Frances and Aunt Nina intervene and covertly devise a plan to keep her from missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
While Simon is very conservative, his sister Nina is a free-spirited former hippie, whose open-mindedness is a source of contention between them. She pushes Terri to explore her passion for music. Overwhelmed with her struggles deeply to come to terms with all the complex feelings she is experiencing, Terri loses her desire to attend Bristol-Hillman until Nina steps in and devises a plan for Terri to secretly attend the music program.
Upon her arrival in Los Angeles, Terri is quickly introduced to the ultra competitive, highstakes environment of the big city. Lacking any formal training, she struggles to make friends and to find her voice amongst the highly-gifted group of musical students. Inspired by the mentoring lessons of Mr. Torvald, Terri pushes herself to master the intricate musical arrangements taught in the highly advanced program.
Once at Bristol-Hillman in Los Angeles, Terri encounters a whole new world that moves much faster than what she experiences in Arizona. She also finds the classically-trained students to be very competitive and far more advanced in their musical studies. One student who lends a helping hand is Jay. A tough student with a checkered past, Jay swiftly becomes the object of Terri's growing admiration and affection.
As the students prepare for their final performance to determine the winner of the school's $10,000 academic scholarship, Terri partners with Jay resulting in a romantic bond with the rough-and-tumble musician. Leaving her fears and anxiety behind, Terri must learn to step into the spotlight and rediscover the artistic musical passion that burns inside of her.
What the cast and crew have said about the movie
For Hilary Duff, "Raise Your Voice" provided her an opportunity to play her most adult and complex role to date. "I really wanted to play a character that was different from anything I've done before", says Duff. "The story has some really happy parts, but there are also dramatic moments where Terri is struggling with everything in her life. It's a continuous growing experience for my character in the film."
During the course of the movie, Terri Fletcher must overcome the many challenges in her life. "Terri is torn between her desire to be a good daughter and the overpowering calling of her music", says screenwriter Sam Schreiber . "Her character is revealed through the decisions she makes during the hardest time of her life. If she's going to make it in her new environment, she has to learn to open up and express her feelings."
"Terri is a sweet and normal girl, but she has an extreme talent for songwriting", adds Hilary Duff. "She lives with her family in Arizona and works at her family's restaurant. Her father has never been very open-minded about letting her pursue her dream of being a singer, so she's kind of torn throughout the whole movie."
"When Jay first meets Terri, she's had a hard day and is locked out of the dorms," says Oliver James , who also co-starred with Amanda Bynes in What a Girl Wants. "All she wants to do is to get in and he's kind of barring the door and messing around with her. He obviously thinks he's quite cool and believes he's turning on the charm. Jay's had a tough life, but in Terri he finds someone who has also faced some difficult times in her life."
One student at Bristol-Hillman who doesn't take kindly to Terri's burgeoning friendship with Jay is the beautiful, ultra-confident Robin, played by Lauren C. Mayhew . A sassy young diva-in-training, Robin doesn't miss an opportunity to taunt Terri during their classes together. Mayhew, former front woman for pop quartet PYT (Sony Music), liked the idea of playing a character who isn't very nice.
Terri's dormmate at Bristol-Hillman is Denise, played by Dana Davis . Initially wary of her, Denise slowly becomes a great ally for Terri. "Denise is a little uptight and intensely focused on her musical passion, which is the violin," says Davis. "Terri helps her to loosen up a bit, and as the film progresses they develop a great friendship."
"This film was so much fun because most of the cast members were around my age," says Duff. "It was a little tough at the beginning of production, because I was going into the msuic studio at night and playing concerts out of town on the weekends. I'm a bit of a workaholic, and I like that crazy busy lifestyle because it's such a rush".
The director concludes, "Most importantly, I want kids to leave the theater having been inspired. I was really fortunate growing up that my mother let me play in a rock band and I just fell in love with music. I want people to see this film and say oh I could learn to play the guitar, the drums, the piano, the saxophone or any musical instrument, because I think if there's music in your life there's happiness in your life."
- Terri Fletcher - Hilary Duff
- Simon Fletcher - David Keith
- Frances Fletcher - Rita Wilson
- Aunt Nina - Rebecca De Mornay
- Jay - Oliver James
- Robin - Lauren C. Mayhew
- Denise - Dana Davis
- Mr. Torvald - John Corbett
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