The Perks of Being a Wallflower - 2012 - Directed by Stephen Chbosky
Steven Chbosky's new film, based on his book, is not a movie about plot rather about feelings. It is a film about the emotions of love, depression, sexuality, hope, fitting in and ultimately acceptance.
Logan Lerman stars as Charlie, an outsider on his first day of high school with no friends and no table to sit at during lunch. He has much to say if only someone would listen and since they won't he will be a writer. He meets his English teacher (Paul Rudd) who encourages this and gives him books to read to fill his time.
One day in shop class he meets Patrick (Ezra Miller), a senior who introduces him to his world, his half-sister (Emma Watson) and the real world. They eventually form a bond and help each other with their struggles through life.
The cast is uniformly excellent. It is a testament to Lerman that he doesn't relegate his character to stereotypes. While he is viewed as a lonely individual it doesn't define him. Emma Watson proves she is more than capable of leaving Hermione Granger behind her. But the film's true star is Ezra Miller. His Patrick is a lightning rod of nervous energy with an abundance of love while concealing so much pain. It is a breakthrough performance that should of gotten him more award consideration.
One of the amazing things about the movie is it's use of music to invoke a certain feeling without invoking a certain time period. It doesn't say when the film takes place (I 'm guessing late 90's) which gives it artistic license to be viewed in multiple lights. Is it about current high schoolers or an adults version of his past? Either way it works for this film.
"Perks" is certainly not without flaws. It is mired in too many cliches and has an unnecessarily awkward ending but the cast makes up for it, especially Miller with his limitless energy, and ultimately this trio of friendship makes the trip worthwhile.
Rating: 8 out of 10