"The Perks Of Being A Wallflower"
This one blindsided me. I knew the reviews were good, but what a terrific little film! It takes many of the clichés of this type of teen coming of age movie (the gay friend, the 1980s indie music, the awkwardness of the the socially inept loner...) and makes them feel, genuine, heartfelt and natural.
Logan Lerman as Charlie
The writer/director (who wrote the original book on which the film is based) guides the young cast through his own excellent script with a confident hand. Special mention to Logan Lerman in the lead who lights up the screen with his gentle intelligence and sensitivity. He nails the whole film, but especially the final scenes which completely bowled me over and it was all I could do to stop blubbing like a baby. Excellent support from Emma Watson (yes, Hermione) and Ezra Miller ("We Need To Talk About Kevin"... the new De Niro?). Up there with the best trials of adolescence/coming of age movies.
Lerman + Emma Watson as Sam
... + Ezra Miller as Patrick
As says Robbie Colin in The Telegraph,
"Coming of age stories make us reflect on our own teenage years, and some of the most effective ones come with nostalgia built in: American Graffiti, Stand By Me, Dazed and Confused, and more recently, Adventureland. It’s a powerful intoxicant that Chbosky and his cast handle responsibly. Teenage wallflowers, past and present alike, will feel tingles of recognition, and pure pleasure."
From the end of the book (+ film)...
"As we were approaching the tunnel, I listened to the music and thought about all the things that people have said to me over the past year. I thought about Bill telling me I was special. And my sister saying she loved me. And my mom, too. And even my dad and brother when I was in the hospital. I thought about Patrick calling me his friend. And I thought about Sam telling me to do things. To really be there.
But mostly, I was crying because I was suddenly very aware of the fact that it was me standing up in that tunnel with the wind over my face. Not caring if I saw downtown. Not even thinking about it. Because I was standing in the tunnel. And I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite."