By Ayanna Smith
After finishing The Half of It, a coming-of-age film by Alice Wu starring Leah Lewis, I was left thinking about boldness. What exactly does it mean to be bold? Google defines it as “a willingness to take risks and act innovatively.” I associate boldness with taking a leap of faith. In The Half of It, Alice Wu shows us boldness is maybe more complex than we give it credit. It can be small and simple or it can be completely outrageous, but it’s always in service of one finding their authentic self.
A quick rundown. Our protagonist Ellie Cho (Leah Lewis) is a shy Asian-American teen who understands her place in the world. She is barely meant to be seen, but at the same time is responsible for keeping her and her father afloat. She has a knack for writing, which is why her classmate, Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) enlists her help with writing love letters to his crush, Aster (more on her later). Paul is a small-town jock. He’s goofy and good at football. The type that never gave much thought about life outside of their small hometown of Squahamish. And then there is Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire), the girl next door that everyone (including Ellie!) has a crush on. On the outside, she seems like the perfect Christian girl, but she’s hiding her true self. She’s deeper than the average Squahamishite and likes to spend her time reading books rather than standing on the sideline cheering on her boyfriend.Continue reading