‘Honest’ is a term that seems to get casually thrown around quite a lot in reviews, and for that reason I don’t tend to use it often, but this tale of three friends navigating through high-school, as well as a whole load of other pretty dark problems, really deserves the term. Steven Chbosky’s script and direction feels very assured as he takes on the task of adapting his own novel. The balance of humour and emotion is well controlled here, as is the way in which characters develop and reveal themselves. It’s a pretty impressive effort, and is far removed from the cliché coming of age tale that the trailer had left me expecting.
The solid groundwork that Chbosky laid is bolstered by three great performances; Ezra Miller initially threatens to steal the spotlight – and deservedly so as he is really excellent here, but give Logan Lerman a little time and you will realise just how strong a performance he is giving, and Emma Watson comes to impress in what is without doubt her best work to date. With this trio it would be easy to forget about the supporting cast, but there’s nothing but good work going on here with Melanie Lynskey as Aunt Helen being a highlight.
There are a couple of small details which perhaps stretch credulity just a little, but picking up on them feels a little like nitpicking to be honest. There’s a lot to like about this film, and if like me you where holding back, fearing that this was just another American High School movie then I urge you to give it a go. I haven’t read the novel, and yet I never was made to feel that I needed to have in order to enjoy the film – it stands on it’s own feet and thoroughly delivers.
What is the film’s greatest strength?
There’s a lot to pick from, but I think it has to be Logan Lerman’s excellent performance.
Its greatest weakness?
A few lines of cliché dialogue which thankfully are not representative of the film as a whole.
Would I see it again?
Most definitely, just play me the opening notes of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ and I’m there!
Thanks for reading, leave your thoughts in the comment box below!