I have now seen two advanced screenings of the new coming of age film The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I’m still reeling. It’s hilarious, emotional, dramatic, cathartic, heartbreaking and simply the best film of 2012 so far. Stephen Chobsky adapts his own cherished novel with an assured and beautifully rendered film featuring a flawless cast and an astounding Oscar worthy performance from lead Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Jack & Bobby). Lerman plays, Charlie, an introverted freshman outcast in Suburban Philadelphia in the early 90′s dealing with personal hardships, his own mental illness and the horror that is high school. He comes out of his shell when he meets a new group of friends led by gay and proud Patrick (We Need To Talk About Kevin’s fantastic Ezra Miller) and the reformed bad girl Sam (a transcendent Emma Watson showing she has a huge career ahead of her outside of the Harry Potter films). The three form a tight bond as they navigate some tricky relationships and monumental events throughout a year. The rest of the cast is fabulous as well with Mae Whitman as the funny and fierce Mary Elizabeth, Nina Dobrev as Charlie’s sister, Kate Walsh and Dylan McDermott who are lovely, funny and subtle as Charlie’s parents, Johnny Simmons as a jock with a secret, Paul Rudd as his supportive and inspirational teacher and a wonderfully tortured Melanie Lynskey in the very difficult role of Charlie’s aunt. The soundtrack is also brilliant with some 80′s and 90′s gems. I highly recommend this film and hope you will see it when it hits select theaters on Sept 21st and expands across the country this fall. It has the potential to become this generation’s The Breakfast Club and deserves a ton of Awards consideration. I think it has a very strong shot for an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nod for writer/director Chbosky and a SAG ensemble nomination looks good too. However, I hope it gets noticed across the board for the wonderful direction, performances, cinematography, editing and especially Lerman’s breakout brilliant performance. He is gonna be a huge star people and a very well-respected actor to boot. The film is truly timeless and speaks to anyone who has ever felt alone or like an outcast… For more on the best film of the year thus far, head to the Perks website here and check out the trailer below.
Perks of Being a Wallflower movie grade: A
Perks of Being A Wallflower trailer: