Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5
I really enjoyed this coming-of-age movie about a shy high freshman trying to come to terms with issues in his life and the friends he makes that help to bring him out of his shell. This movie has been out a while and is an art house movie but, if you can find it, definitely go.
This movie is at times sweet, sad, and funny and does a good job of showing what the high school experience can be like. Logan Lerman from the Percy Jackson movies does a good job as the shy freshman dealing with some issues. It’s a nuanced performance that shows his highs and lows. Emma Watson (Hermione from Harry Potter) and Ezra Miller play seniors with issues of their own who befriend him. Both are very good but I thought Ezra Miller was excellent. He was also great last year in We Need To Talk About Kevin and is an actor to watch.
Bill I’s Review – 4.5 out of 5
If you are a teenager you should see this movie. If you once were a teenager you should see this movie. If you are not yet a teenager, you should wait, otherwise you might not want to be a teenager.
On its surface, this film is filled with cliches: the bullied high school kid, the jock bullies who love to trip the nerd carrying his lunch tray, the band of outcasts who befriend him, the gay best friend, the female “best friend” who is slotted (in his mind at least) to eventually become his girl friend, the search for ending his virginity…BUT, it’s got an amazing sense of life, captured in a few perfect scenes, that makes you realize that cliches are based on the truest reality. Ezra Miller plays the gay best friend as an original character, exciting, charismatic, and so genuine you will be amazed. Emma Watson, as the queen of the outcasts is similarly captivating. You won’t for a second wonder why the main character (Logan Lerman) falls so in love that he’s at times speechless in her presence. The parents are not cliches, they are believably distracted and ignorant to the day-to-day trials their son is going through, all the while thinking they are super sensitive to his emotional life due to past events. The brother and sister, while given so little screen time and less dialogue, are amazingly shown as real people and will bring tears to your eyes. Finally, you realize that this is a movie driven by child abuse, and what people do to get over it, or not get over it. I won’t give away the incredible moment when the viewer realizes what’s happened, but it gave me insight into what kids go through and try to regain a normal life. I considered giving this film a 4 star review, but realized it’s better than other 4 star movies in its essence.