Stephen ChboskyUSA103 minutes2011ColourEnglish
In this witty and affecting coming-of-age story (adapted by writer-director Stephen Chbosky from his own novel), a shy teenager (Logan Lerman) with a dark family secret is coaxed out of his shell by a sympathetic teacher (Paul Rudd) and two wild, carefree new friends (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller).
Based on writer-director Stephen Chbosky's own bestselling novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a witty, affecting coming-of-age drama about a sensitive freshman who is taken under the wing of two senior students.
The year is 1991. Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a loner who suffers from depression and is anxious about starting high school in the wake of his best friend's suicide. Noticing the kid's budding literary talent, English teacher Bill (Paul Rudd) introduces Charlie to classics by Fitzgerald, Salinger, and Kerouac. Emboldened, Charlie befriends two older outsiders, Sam (Emma Watson) and her flamboyant stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller). ("Welcome to the island of misfits toys," Sam says to Charlie.) But as his new friends' graduation looms ever closer, Charlie realizes that he will no longer be able to depend on this close-knit circle.
Already a cult favourite — thanks in part to its offbeat humour, kaleidoscopic visuals, and milieu-appropriate soundtrack (The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Galaxie 500) — The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an inspirational and keenly sympathetic teen drama that authentically captures the elation and despair to be found in the weird and wild journey from adolescence to adulthood.
IKORO HUGGINS-WARNER/TIFF STAFF
See this movie if you have ever felt like an outsider with hopes of finding people that accept your flaws and value your friendship. — Dasola Dina, TIFF Next Wave Committee
SPECIAL PRESENTATION/NEXT WAVE SELECTION, 2012 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL